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Copyright, 187b, 


7 Fort St. W. 


This work was originally intended as a sketch to 
be used for the purposes of the Centennial Committee 
of Michigan, and was prepared in more haste than was 
otherwise desirable. The time allowed for it was not 
sufficient to permit any very extended researches among 
original materials. Although, for some twenty years 
past, the writer has made occasional collections of such 
material, yet his work must be regarded as largely 
compiled from his predecessors, who have been so fre- 
quently relied on that this general acknowledgment is 
more appropriate than would be any attempt to credit 
them in particular places. He has drawn freely from 
the Lanmans, and Mrs. Sheldon, from the " Historical 
Sketches of Michigan," and from the local sketches of 
Judge Witherell and Mr R. E. Roberts, as well as 
from Parkman and the French authors — especially 
Charlevoix, La Hontan, Hennepin, Tonty and Joutel, — 
correcting them, so far as he could, by the French 
documents. In matters concerning the War of 1812, 
Mr. Lossing's *' Field-Book" has been of much service 
Upon that war there is no lack of authentic documents 
and histories. 

Much, also, which has not been recorded by the 
historians, has been found scattered through early and 
modern biographies, books of travel, and other less pre- 
tentious works, as well as in newspapers and private 


writings ; and many interesting facts appear incidentally 
in public documents and land books and other local 
records. The early recording officers placed on record 
a great many private papers which were not muniments 
of title, but related to family matters. 

A long residence in Detroit has given some oppor- 
tunities for procuring information from living sources, and 
for observing things which were not without value for 
reference. It has also enabled the writer to understand 
and explain some things which could hardly be com- 
prehended from writings alone. Many gentlemen have 
busied themselves with gathering and preserving his- 
torical material, and have accumulated much that, with 
sufficient time and labor, will be some day made a very 
valuable addition to the annals of Michigan and the 
Northwest. Besides the numerous documents preserved 
by the Historical Society, and the narratives and 
sketches gathered by the Pioneer Society, it is not im- 
proper to mention Hon. C. C. Trowbridge, Hon. Charles 
I. Walker, Robert E. Roberts, Esq., Bela Hubbard, Esq., 
and Hon. Levi Bishop, as active workers in this field. 
It is to be hoped that the results of Judge Walker's 
diligent researches will be given to the public in a 
durable form. To all these gentlemen, as well as to 
Hon. E. A. Brush, and many other personal friends, 
who have aided him by information and suggesti(^ns, 
the writer records his acknowledgments. 

He trusts that his imperfect sketch will not be 
without some value, as a contribution upon a subject 
which, as yet, has been very far from receiving ex- 
haustive treatment from any one. 

Detroit, May i, 1876. 



Preliminary. No popular government until Councils of 1824 and 

1827. Chief growth has been since that time. Eventful close 
of the first half century of the United States. INIichigan of 
French origin, and with institutions unlike those of English 
colonies. Part of New France and Canada. French writers 
and explorers. La Salle, Hennepin, Tonty, Ea Hontan, Char- 
levoix. Full records in the Department of the Marine. 
French regime despotic and peculiar. Attention of govern- 
ment extended to private affairs. Intrigues in Church and 
State. Publication of old records by New York. Collections 
in Canada and elsewhere i 


Early explorations. Michigan was a part of New France. Settle- 
ments delayed by its Canadian connection, in the interests of 
fur trade and of missions. Date of discovery unknown. An- 
cient resort for beavers and furs. Hurons or Ouendats. Le 
Detroit, or the Strait, known very early. Champlain and the 
RecoUet Missions. Michigan not held by the Iroquois. Mis- 
sions in the Upper Peninsula. Raymbault, Jogues, Mesnard. 
Mission of St. Ignace and Mackinaw. Pere Marquette. Cou- 
reurs de bois and fur,] trade. Character of contraband adven- 
turers. Bushrangers the first explorers and soldiers. Jesuit 
missionaries opposed to settle-nents 8 


Preparation for Western occupation. Territorial ambition of Eouis 
XIV. Supposed route to China and the Indies. Contest be- 
tween friends and enemies of exploration. Expeditions sent 
out by Talon towards South Sea. St. Lusson at the Sault dc 
Ste. Marie. Success of French in dealing with Indians La- 
Salle's first expedition not completed. Joliet, Dollier and 
Galinee. Dollier and Galinee destroy an idol at Detroit. 
Trade monopoly and contraband. Coureurs de bois restrained 


by law. Eminence of their leaders. The regiment of Carig- 

nan Salieres. English encroachments. Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany. New York ceded to the English, Colbert offers re- 
wards for discovery. The Religious Orders and their influence. 
Grandfontaine sends out Joliet. Voyage to Akansas country. 
La Salle ennobled, and authorized to explore. Tonty. Pre- 
parations for journey. The Griffin. Skilled mechanics. Ri- 
bourde, Membre, Hennepin, Missionaries. Launch and voyage 
of the Griffin. Reaches the Detroit August loth, 1679 20 


Early settlements in Michigan. La Salle sends men to Michigan 
to wait for him. Teuchsa Grondie and the early settle- 
ments on the Strait. Karontaen, whether the same as 
Carontouan. Many forms of the same names. Champlain's 
knowledge of the Strait. Griffin at the Detroit. At Lake Ste. 
Claire on St. Claire's Day. Lake Ste. Claire known as Otsi- 
keta, Chaudiere, Kandekio and Ganatchio. La Salle reaches 
Mackinaw and goes southwest. At St. Joseph. Strife with 
Iroquois and English for the fur trade. Eminent adventurers. 
Ou Luth, De la Foret, Durantaye, Lusigny. Duchesneau 
complains of Frontenac and Du Luth as favoring contraband 
trade. Amnesty to coureurs de bois. Colonial intrigues. Du- 
Luth goes to France. Importance of Lake Erie. Correspon- 
dence between De la Barre and Governor Dongan. Denonville 
sends Du Luth to build Fort St. Joseph, at the outlet of Lake 
Huron. McGregory and Roseboom expeditions and capture. 
Tonty, La Foret, Durantaye, Du Luth and Beauvais de Tilly 
go east with the prisoners, to join the Seneca campaign. La- 
Hontan sent to Fort St. Joseph. Lafontaine Marion, guide to 
McGregory, shot. Grisolon de la Tourette, brother to Daniel 
Grisolon Du Luth. Iroquois claim againsc French control of 
the Detroit. Mackinaw an important point. Hurons and 
Ottawas. Industry of the Hurons. Fort St. Joseph abandoned. 
La Motte Cadillac. New York covets the western trade. 
Coureurs de bois or bushlopers valuable to the Colonies. 
Cadillac proposes a fort at Detroit. Livingston recognizes 
importance of getting Detroit or Wawyachtenok. Cadillac goes 
to France to lay his plans before the King. Authorized to 
fovmd Detroit. Fort Pontchartrain 36 


Detroit under Cadillac. Iroquois complain of French occupancy. 
Convey their claims to William III. Lake Erie and its vari- 
ous names. Iroquois not claimants of Michigan. Importance 


of water-ways. Description of the Strait and its islands. Why 

the post was not placed on Grosse He. Bois-blanc Island. 
Fortifications at Detroit. Cattle and horses. Buildings. 
D'Aigremont's report. Indians settle at Detroit. Trouble 
with Jesuits. Cadillac and his measures. Restraint of liquor 
traffic. Monopoly of Canada Company. Danger from English 
intrigues. Intrigues against Cadillac. Ordered to Quebec for 
trial. Vindicated by Count Pontchartrain. Aigremont's spite. 
Conges or licenses. Delays in settlement. Census, Cadil- 
lac's seigneurie. Plans for improving Indians and enlarging 
settlement. Feudal grants of land. Wheat introduced. Mills. 
Enlightened views. Cadillac Governor of Louisiana 55 


French rule. Detroit the only civil settlement. Subject to English 
schemes. French system opposed to freedom of action. French 
.settlers brave and enterprising. No courts of justice. Public 
notaries and their functions. Disposal of Cadillac's interests. 
Madame Gregoire, his grand - daughter. La Foret succeeds 
Cadillac. Du Buisson commands during his absence. Detroit 
besieged by Mascoutins and Outagamies. Succored by Pota- 
watamies, Hurons, Illinois, Missouris and Usages. Fort re- 
lieved, and great slaughter of besiegers. Tonty the younger. 
La Floret's views concerning the post. Description of Indians. 
Superiority of Hurons. Visit of Charlevoix. Domestic animals 
and crops. Prerogatives of the commander. Lands controlled 
by Governor and Intendant. Trade monopoly under younger 
Tonty. Licenses to privileged traders. Popular remonstrances 
and Tonty's annoyance. Improvement under Beauharnois as 
Governor, and Hocquart as Intendant. Beauharnois favors 
settlements and makes concessions of land. Boishebert, Com- 
mandant, sanctions a water-mill. Moulin banal. Detroit gov- 
ernment grants held in roture and not by feudal tenure. 
Hugues Pean and Bigot. Few grants perfected by patent as 
required. Cadillac and Repentigny the only grantees of seig- 
neuries. Trading licenses granted freely. Commanders at De- 
troit, Pajot, Deschaillons de St. Ours, Desnoyelles, Noyan, 
Sabrevois, Celoron, Longueuil, De Muy, Bellestre. Indian set- 
tlements in Michigan. L'Arbre Croche. Liberal views of 
Maurepas, Beauharnois, La Jonquiere and De la Galissonniere. 
The Phelyppeaux family, and places named in their honor. 
He Phelyppeaux in Lake Superior a national boundary. Its 
disappearance. Navarre Deputy Intendant at Detroit. Notary 
and tabellion. Tenure of lands within the Fort. Conditions 
to keep up pickets. British and Iroquois intrigues with the 
Hurons at Detroit. Huron mission village at Bois-blanc. Iro- 

Vlll C C) N T E N T S . 

quois on White River! Trade suffers. Celoron and Joncaire 
on the Ohio. Indian rising and massacre planned at Detroit. 
Chiefs sent to Quebec. Attack on sett'ement at Grosse He. 
Capture of ring leaders. One killed, and one commits suicide. 
Richardie and Potier, Huron missionaries. Huron Mission 
removed from Bois-blanc to Sandwich. Resistance to English 
advance on Ohio. Galissonniere urges sending out settlers. 
Fauxsaulniers or salt smugglers to be sent out. Colonial in- 
dustries favored by French, but opposed by English. Settlers 
sent out from France to Detroit. Scarcity. Detroit enlarged. 
Repentigny settles at Sault de Ste. Marie. War with England. 
Detroit sends trooi:)S and supplies. Piquote de Pellestre active. 
Acadian refugees. Bellestre the last French commandant. 
Detroit included in Montreal capitulation. Surrendered to 
Robert Rogers. Account of Bellestre 77 

C: H A P T E R VII. 

Michigan under British military rule. Few interests for law to oper- 
ate on. Detroit, Mackinaw and Sault de Ste. Marie the only 
settlements. Fort Mackinaw then in Eower Peninsula. Pop- 
ulation of Detroit. Slaves. Panis. Buffaloes. General Gage 
and Sir William lohnson. Chabert de Joncaire. Robert 
Rogers. Royal American Regiment. Pontiac meets the British 
near the ("uyahoga. Arrogant conduct of British officers to- 
wards Indians. Capiain Donald Campbell first commandant at 
Detroit. Albany traders Trade regulations. Pontiac begins 
scheming. Effect of Treaty of Paris. French popular with 
Indians. Events at Mackinaw. Post captured by stratagem 
of ball-play. Conduct of various Indian tribes. Etherington. 
Gorrell. Henry. Tolerance of Indian barbarities. Detroit 
during the Pontiac war. Siege, (xladwin, Campbell, McDoug- 
all, Rogers, Dalzell. Massacre of Fisher at Hog Island. 
Cuillerier. Intervention of Chapoton, Godfrey and La Butte. 
Murder of Major Donald Campbell and escape of McDougall. 
Battle of Bloody Run. Siege raised. Bradstreet's Treaty. 
Tricks and mistakes of interpreters. Need of civil government. 
Royal proclamation continued martial law. British suspicions 
against loyalty of French. Popularity of Scottish officers. 
British authorities opposed to civil settlements. Fur trade. 
Indian grants. Temporary courts established by the command- 
ant. Dejean and Ee Grand justices. Irregularities at Mack- 
inaw. Misconduct of Robert Rogers. Alexander Henry on 
Lake Superior. Mining and copper discoveries. Condition of 
Detroit settlements. Potawatamie grants. Royal officers at 
Detroit. No newspapers in Province. ( )uebec Act passed . . in 




Michigan under British law. Purpose and operation of the Quebec 
Act. Opposed by liberals. Petitions for its repeal disregarded. 
Zachary Macaulay. Western posts continued under martial 
law. Lieutenant governors appointed. Henry Hamilton at 
Detroit. No regular courts till 1788. Lay judges. Justice 
Reaume. Uejean's multifarious duties. Continued in his 
limited magistracy. Liquor selling regulated by agreement 
among merchants. American Revolution did not reach Mich- 
igan. Garret Graverat charged with disloyalty. Execution of 
prisoners sentenced capitally by Dejean without authority. 
Captain Lernoult in command. Relations of Uejean with 
Lieutenant Governor Hamilton. Further unlawful Indian grants. 
Loyalty of French at Detroit. Difference between French and 
English colonists. Destruction of American settlements. Pol- 
icy of preventing civilization. Events in Indiana and Illinois. 
Hamilton's expeditions. DePeyster at Mackinaw and his aux- 
iliary attempts. Forays from Detroit. George Rogers Clark 
captures Vincennes. Hamilton, Hay, Dejean and others de- 
tained prisoners. Their treatment in Virginia. DePeyster 
commanding at Detroit. Acts as chaplain in marriages and 
other duties. His character. Bird's expedition to Kentucky. 
Moravians in Michigan. Zeisberger and others settle on Huron 
(Clinton) River of Lake St. Clair. New Gnadenhutten. John 
Hay lieutenant governor. First road in Michigan built to 
Moravian settlement. Fort Mackinaw moved to Island of 
Michilimackinac. Detroit and other posts retained by Great 
Britain, in violation of treaty of peace. Records removed to 
(Quebec. Indian hostilities encouraged against the United 
States. Brant. Canada divided. Upper Canada made a com- 
mon law province. Simcoe lieutenant governor. Grants to 
American Tory refugees. British build fort at Mauniee Rapids. 
Wayne's campaign and victories. Treaty of (ireenville. Jay's 
treaty provides for surrender of posts to the United States. 
Fraudulent Indian grants in anticipation of surrender. Posses- 
sion taken of Detroit 153 


Michigan under the Northwest Territory and Indiana. Territory cov- 
eted by the British. Plan to obtain it by purchase. Disloyalty 
at Green Bay and Sault de Ste. Marie. Election of many 
citizens to iretain allegiance to Great Britain. Jonathan Schieff- 
lin. Pleasant social lelations. Slaves. Rights preserved by 
Jav's Treatv. Wayne County organized. Militia Courts. 


Ordinance of 1787. Courts at Detroit yearly. Jacob Burnet. 

John Cleves Symmes. Arthur St. Clair, Jr. Bluejacket. 
Buckongahelas. Honors to the Governor's son. Indians in- 
jured by contact with American settlers. Flourishing business 
at Detroit. Style of living. French noblesse. Marietta col- 
onists. Solomon Sibley. Lewis Cass in Ohio. Amusements. 
Elections for General Assembly. Character of legislation. 
Schools. Division of Territory. Seat of government removed 
to Chillicothe. Detroit incorporated. Chillicothe riots. Schieff- 
lin's courage. Ohio Constitutional Convention. Wayne County 
not represented. Michigan attached to Indiana. Detroit des- 
cribed. Domestic life. Dispute concerning national boundary. 
Boisblanc Island and Maiden. Government trading posts. 
Commission to settle land titles. Michigan set off as a 
Territory 198 


Governor Hull's civil administration. Political contests of that period. 
No new settlements in Michigan away from the border. Pop- 
ulation. Importation of Territorial officers. Evils of their 
local ignorance. Governor, Secretary and Judges. Burning of 
Detroit. New town planned. Legislation of Governor and 
Judges. Court districts. Lotteries for public purposes. Wood- 
ward's plan of Detroit. Militia. Land titles. Discords among 
the Governor and Judges. Bank of Detroit incorporated, and 
annulled by Congress. Kidnapping British deserteis. Slaves. 
Indian treaty concessions of land. Delays in public surveys. 
Indian alarms. Detroit stockaded. Negro soldiers. Quarrels 
of Hull and Woodward. Social affairs. Schools. First print- 
ing press. " Michigan Essay." Father Gabriel Richard. In- 
dian troubles. Tecumseh and the Prophet. British intrigues. 
Maiden agency. Elliott and McKee. Henry's mission to New 
England. Indians defeated at Tippecanoe. Governor Hull 
goes to Washington. Evils of having no newspapers. Sweep- 
ing repeal of all old laws, British, French and Territorial. No 
local self government. Currency. Taxation. Imperfect legal 
system. Burr's conspiracy and neutrality laws 232 


Governor Hull's military administration. Early omissions and mis- 
takes of the Government. Hull's antecedents. His opinions 
on military policy. Rated by his Revolutionary services under 
different circumstances. War measures adopted. Troops levied. 
Call on Ohio for soldiers. Hull in command of Ohio troops 
and regulars. March towards Detroit. Baggage and invalids 


sent l)y vessel and captured. Hull receives notice of war on 

the way from Maumee to Detroit. British received earlier 
notice. Reaches Detroit. Delays crossing till advices from 
Washington. Enters Canada and issues proclamation. Expe- 
ditions of Cass and McArthur. Delays offensive measures. 
Mackinaw captured. Traders in British interest. Proctor at 
Maiden. Battles of Monguagon and Brownstown. Hull retires 
from Canada. Chicago massacre. Brock at Maiden. Batteries 
built at Sandwich without interference from Hull. Discontent. 
Cass and McArthur sent towards River Raisin. British open fire 
from Canada. Cross Detroit River without resistance. Hull sur- 
renders. Dishonorable terms of capitulation. Captain Brush 
refuses to be included. Sustained by court martial. Court 
called to try Hull. Dissolved because he has not been exchanged. 
New court called on his exchange. Conviction and sentence 
that he be shot. Sentence remitted. Hull's defence and sub- 
sequent effort at vindication. Discussion of the subject 266 


British possession and American reconquest of Michigan. Cass re- 
ports at Washington upon the facts of Hull's military trans- 
actions. Brock's proclamation. Discussion upon true contents 
of articles of surrender. Proctor in command. Organizes tem- 
porary government. Depredations and spoliations. Attempt to 
turn citizens to disloyalty. Indian threats. Excitement in the 
West. Capture of Revolutionary trophies at Detroit. Brock 
knighted. Capture of the Detroit and Caledonia, armed vessels, 
by Elliott, near Buffalo. Harrison's forces gathering in Ohio. 
Maiden to be assailed. Winchester's defeat on the Raisin. 
Proctor's treachery. Massacre of the wounded. Fate of Wool- 
folk. Hart, Graves and others. Dr. McKeehan's adventures. 
Ransom of prisoners, and Proctor's prohibition of further ran- 
som. Woodward's spirited conduct. Cruelty to prisoners. 
Banishment of Americans from Detroit. Kentucky volunteers. 
Ohio campaign. Fort Meigs besieged. Capture of relieving 
force, and Indian barbarities. Tecumseh more merciful than 
Proctor. Siege raised. Failure of plan for second attack. As- 
sault on Fort Stephenson, and brave defence by Major Croghan. 
Retreat of British and Indians. Governor Shelby raises volun- 
teers and leads them. The mounted rangers. Richard M. 
Johnson. Okemos. Perry prepares a fleet and sails from 
Erie. Defeats British fleet in Battle of Lake Erie. Transports 
troops to Canada. Proctor's cowardice. Retreats from Maiden. 
Evacuates Detroit and retreats up the Thames. Detroit occu- 


l^ied by American troops. Hull's flagstaff not used. Pursuit 

of Proctor and Battle of the Thames. Tecumseh killed. In- 
dians submit to Harrison. Expeditions of McArthur and 
Holmes. TTailure to retake Mackinaw. Neglect of Michigan 
to commemorate her rescuers. Honors to Captain Hart. Re- 
union of \eterans at Monroe 329 


Administration of Governor Cass. Lewis Cass Governor and William 
Woodbridge Secretary of the Territory. Indians troublesome. 
Treaty of peace with tribes. Insolence of British officers in 
Canada. Search of American vessels at Maiden. Bounty 
lands approj^riated in Michigan for soldiers. Report of surveyors 
that no fit lands could be found. False statements concerning 
the countrv. Counties organized. Indiana and Illinois organized, 
and part of Michigan annexed. Territory extended beyond 
Lake Michigan. Visit of President Monroe. Sword presented 
to General Alexander Macomb from the State of New York. 
"Detroit Gazette" established. Unsound currency Michigan 
University chartered, and receives various gifts. Sales of public 
lands. New counties. County Commissioners appointed. In- 
crease of lake commerce. Land carriage by pack horses. Ponies. 
People reject offer of representative government. Re -interment 
of Captain Hart. I'he steamboat Walk-in-the-Water, the first 
lake steamboat. Symmes's Ho^e. Churches incorporated. Dele- 
gate to Congress authorized to be elected. Bank of Michigan. 
First steam-voyage to Mackinaw Governor Cass's expedition 
to the sources of the Mississippi. The British hold Druramond's 
Island and subsidize Indians. Thomas, the great chief of the 
Menomimes. Indians at the Sault insolent and raise the British 
flag. Cass pulls it down. Treaty concluded. Territorial system 
of criminal law. Mischief of British presents to Indians. Con- 
gress creates new court for the upper country. Large business 
there. Territory re-organized with legislative council. Judges 
legislated out of office. Changes in offices. Court house built 
and used as capitol. Curious manuscript. Meeting of council 
and change of officers. Erie canal. " Michigan Flerald" estab- 
lished. Governor Cass appoints officers on popular selection. 
Captain Burtis's horse-boat, and the steamer " Argo." Indian 
captives. Cass and McKenney's expedition. Roads. P^ort 
Shelby at Detroit abandoned. Kishkaukon charged with murder. 
Commits suicide. Councilmen to be chosen directly by the 
people. Supervisor system adopted in counties. Laws concern- 
ing colored people. Export of flour and tobacco. Changes on 
the bench. Sheldon contempt case. First railroad charter to 


Pontiac and Detroit Railroad. Excitement over French Revolu- 
tion of 1830. De Tocqueville hears of it between Detroit and 
Saginaw. Political removals and appointments of General Jack- 
son. Cass made Secretary of War. Leading men and social 
affairs in his time. Revised Code of 1827 .'^76 


Last years of the Territory. Rapid increase of population. Judicial 
system. Good character of settlers. People desire to manage 
their own affairs. Dislike of foreign appointments. Stevens T. 
Mason appointed Secretary while under age. Public remon- 
strance. George B. Porter made Governor. Turbulence ot 
voung politicians. Death of Judge Trumbull, the author ot 
McFnigal. George Morell and Ross Wilkins appointed in lieu 
of Judges Woodbridge and Chipman. Popular vote to become a 
State. Black Hawk war. Cholera. Extension of Michigan 
Territory beyond the Mississippi. Death of Governor Porter 
Boundary commission. Henry D. Gilpin nominated as Governor 
and rejected by the Senate. Preparations to organize Wisconsin. 
Preliminary steps for State organization Difficulties with Ohio 
about boundary. Adoption of State constitution, and election of 
State officers and representatives in Congress. Charles Shaler 
appointed Secretary of the Territory and declines the appoint- 
ment. John S. Horner accepts it. Arrives and is not well 
received. Lucius Lyon and John Norvell chosen Senators. Con- 
gress refuses to admit the State until the people in convention 
yield their southern boundary to Ohio. Regular convention 
rejects the terms. Irregular or " Frostbitten" convention accepts 
them, and the State is admitted. Co-existence of State and 
Territorial officers for certain purposes 425 


Michigan under the Constitution of 1835. Sketch of the constitution. 
Condition of public travel in 1835. .Sanguine expectations of 
prosperity. Educational measures. Internal improvements. 
Geological survey. Banking laws. Bounties for manufactures. 
Five million dollars loan and its unfortunate history. Large 
appropriations for railroads and canals. Frauds and defaults in 
the agents of the loan State scrip and State warrants resorted 
to to meet liabilities. Canal at Sault Ste. Marie stopped by 
United States troops. Remarks on government reserves. Gov- 
ernor Mason. Revised statutes of 1838. New revision in 1846. 


Changes in judicial system. " Patriot War" or Canadian Rebel- 
lion. Expatriation question. Free schools in Detroit. Scrip 
called in. Political changes. Governor Barry. Movements to 
improve Indians. Fictitious surveys of public lands. Indian 
names of northern counties changed. Sale of State railroads. 
Mexican War. Changes in the Courts. Capital punishment 
abolished. The Upper Peninsula and its mines. System of 
surveys. Burt's solar compass. Asylums. Normal School. 
University. Land Office. Capital removed to Lansing. Adop- 
tion of new Constitution 480 


Michigan under the Constitution of 1850. Comparison of the two Con- 
stitutions. Governors of Michigan. Swamp land grant. Ship 
canal at the Sault de Ste. Marie built. Mormon occupation of 
Beaver Island. King Strang. His assassination. Spoiling the 
Mormons. Obstacles to legal proceedings in the Upper Penin- 
sula. Prohibitory liquor laws. University affairs. State Reform 
School. State charitable institutions and commission of charities. 
Grand jury system changed. Rise of the Republican Party. 
Military affairs. Embezzlement of State moneys by John Mc- 
Kinney, State Treasurer. John Owen, his successor, raised 
funds on his own credit until the tax levies came in. War 
preparations on the eve of the Rebellion. Michigan during 
the Rebellion. Rebel seizure of the steamboat Philo Parsons. 
Governors of the State. Judicial changes. Senators. Attempts 
to revise the Constitution and their failure. Aid-bonds Ag- 
ricultural College grants. Salt. Destruction of timber. Phi- 
lanthropic legislation and measures to carry it out. New State 
Capitol. State Library. Lady Librarian. Salaries. Summary 
of progress 54° 

Note to Page 418. — The writer was misled in regard to Mr. De 
Tocquevilie, by a friend's hasty reference, which he discovered, (too late 
for correction in the text,) arose from a misapprehension. The Memoir 
of De Tocquevilie refers to the first anniversary of the Revolution of July, 
which he spent in the Michigan woods in the next year, 183 1, and not 
to the Revolution itself. He was in France in 1830. The very lively 
emotion shown in the reference was retrospective. 






Political History of Michigan. 



The political history of Michigan, as a com- 
munity governed by its own laws, dates back but 
half a century. In the summer of 1824 the first 
Legislative Council met, composed of nine mem- 
bers, selected by the President and confirmed by 
the Senate of the United States out of eighteen 
persons chosen by the voters of Michigan Territory. 
In 1827, for the first time a Council of thirteen sat, 
who were chosen directly by popular vote. Since 
that time the affairs of the people have been con- 
trolled by their own representatives, subject, dur- 
ing the territorial, stage, to a veto of the Gover- 
nor appointed by the United States, and to re- 
vision by Congress ; and since the organization 
of the State to a qualified veto by their own 


If that only is political history which covers 
the life of the people as a political commonwealth, 
it would be safe to begin at the period of en- 
franchisement, and to confine our attention to the 
fortunes of this region since that time. The 
whole population of European descent was then 
less than twenty thousand. The cultivated lands, 
if placed together, would not have covered a 
single county. For about half the year there 
was no intercourse with the outer world. The 
completion of the Erie Canal was opening the 
way for that great course of emigration which has 
since brought into the West more people than 
were at that time to be found in all the Northern 
States ; and for some years thereafter a large 
share of those who left New York and New 
England to find new homes in the Northwest 
settled in TMichigan. Several of our flourishing 
towns were founded then or soon after. 

The times were notable for other reasons. 
Some disputed questions of boundary and in- 
demnity under treaties with Great Britain had 
just been determined, and the line between the 
British and American islands in the dividing 
waters of this frontier had been ascertained, so 
that the limits of our jurisdiction were fixed for 
the first time. 

The completed half century of the republic 
found us in treaty relations with the Empire of 
Russia, and with the new American Republics of 
North and South America, which our example 


had led to independence. The first combined 
arrangements had been made with Great Britain 
for checking the slave trade, which the completion 
of the century finds practically abolished. The 
history of Michigan, from that period, is one of 
very rapid progress, and the last fifty years have 
been remarkable years for the whole civilized 

But the earliest days of the life of any people 
must always have some influence on the future, 
and usually one which determines in no small 
degree the character of popular institutions and 
progress. The institutions of the United States 
are mostly natural developments from those of 
the earliest settlements ; and those, again, were 
modifications of the older British customs, which 
have been vigorous and adaptable since times 
more distant than any of w^hich we have complete 

The settlements in Michigan were made very 
early, and the Canadian annals, to which our first 
history belongs, date back of most of those of 
the English colonies. The beginnings of Cana- 
dian colonization appeared more promising than 
those of New England or Virginia. None of the 
thirteen commonwealths that declared their inde- 
pendence had ever been watched by Great Britain 
with that solicitude which was spent on the French 
provinces by their home government, or which 
has been bestowed on Canada since the other 
British possessions separated from it. 


If the commonwealths within the United States 
prospered under neglect, and their neighbors 
suffered from too much home attention, perhaps 
the experience of a region which has been through 
both experiences may not be altogether without 
value as an example of what may be followed, 
and what may be shunned. 

The leading features of the colonial history of 
Michigan, so far as they show its experience in 
matters of government, may be given briefly. 
No sketch would be complete without them. 
The purposes of this outline will not allow an 
extended narrative of those romantic adventures 
which add so much life to the annals of this 
region. Historians have loved to dwell upon 
them, and under the hands of such artists as Park- 
man they have assumed the shape and color 
of present reality. The older writers have pre- 
served many brilliant sketches of the remarkable 
events of their times. Hennepin, always graphic, 
if not always reliable, was one of the first, if not 
the very first, who gave a minute description of 
the country about the great lakes, and who 
detailed the beginnings of La Salle's discoveries 
more faithfully than their sequel. La Hontan, who 
has also been charged with exaggeration in some 
things, and with some sheer inventions, is never- 
theless fully corroborated by other witnesses, in a 
great part of his personal narrative, so far as it 
concerns our affairs. Charlevoix, who was histor- 
ian as well as traveller, has left works of sterling 


merit and great interest, and his style is very 
attractive. He too has left much unsaid, and has, 
probably without sinister intentions, colored his 
picture according to the strong prejudices of his 

The discoveries made among the old records 
of the Department of the Marine, and in family 
and other collections, have rendered much of the 
old histories very unreliable. These papers, which 
are now coming to the light, show a very strange 
condition of affairs. There seems never to have 
been a time when harmony prevailed among all 
the influential persons or authorities. The Gover- 
nor was frequently and perhaps generally at war 
with the Intendant, upon questions of vital policy. 
The ecclesiastics were opposed to the views of 
the civil officers, and the religious orders were 
arrayed secredy or openly against each other. 
Official letters written in one sense were qualified 
by private despatches in another. Every leading 
man had spies upon his conduct, who were them- 
selves watched by other spies. The whole truth 
seldom reached France from any source ; and the 
only means of redress open to many of the lead- 
ing spirits of the colony against those who per- 
sistently thwarted the Royal intentions in their 
favor, was a personal appeal to the King or his 
ministers in the mother country. As it was 
shrewdly remarked by one of the ministers, the 
King's orders lost their force when they crossed 
the Bank. 


This Is readily understood, when It Is known 
that the first pubHc printing press In Canada was 
set up after the EngHsh conquest, about 1764; 
and no such thing as pubHc opinion was known 
as an Influence In the affairs of government. 
News could only get abroad as rumor or gossip. 

The only books which criticised the conduct 
of the church or state authorities, or which vin- 
dicated the reputation of those who were out of 
favor were published abroad. No writer could 
publish In France any account which was not 
satisfactory, as the press was rigidly watched. 
The writings of Hennepin and La Hontan, printed 
In Holland, were assailed and denounced as the 
work of renegades and traitors, and generally 
discredited, without discriminating between what 
was claimed to be invention and the rest. Many of 
the most important documents, which In any other 
country would have been made public, never saw 
the light until our time. 

The eminent author of the Commentary on 
the Marine Ordinance of Louis XIV., M. Valln, 
complains of the labor of delving in the chaos of 
edicts and public documents in the office of the 
Admiralty, relating to maritime affairs, which he 
speaks of as a prodigious multitude. The collec- 
tion of public reports and private letters relating 
to colonial affairs, from civil and ecclesiastical 
officers and from persons of all occupations, gath- 
ered together from all parts of the world, during 
a regime when every one was suspected, and 


when colonial gossip was as keenly scrutinised as 
colonial business, must be enormous. The Domin- 
ion of Canada has drawn largely upon these de- 
posits, and the State of New York has published 
a valuable selection from them. Further ex- 
cerpts have been secured at different times by 
General Cass and others. We may hope that 
when this material has been thoroughly sifted our 
early history may be made complete. 

•5 jO:r 



The State of Michigan Is a part of the terri- 
tory colonised by the French, and held under the 
government of New France and Louisiana. It 
was never properly a part of Louisiana as a sep- 
arate province, although in some of the ancient 
maps it appears to have been included in that 
region. Its affairs were always under the super- 
vision of the authorities In what was afterwards 
known as Lower Canada, until the British con- 
quest of 1 760-1 763, after which It remained under 
military control, until by an act of Parliament 
passed in 1774 it was annexed to the province of 
Quebec. From Its first discovery until the close of 
the French supremacy Its history is a part of the 
history of Canada, and most of Its French inhab- 
itants were Canadians by birth or connections. 

This dependence on Canada was a principal 
cause why Michigan was not setded earlier, and 
why after setdements were begun they were not 
allowed to be multiplied. It was early known 
that the lands were exceptionally good, and that 
farming could be made very profitable. But the 
colonial policy adhered to for a long period did 
not encourage the pursuit of agriculture. A wil- 

Chap. II.] THE HURONS. 9 

derness was more precious in the eyes of the 
authorities at Quebec than fields and farms. The 
change in sentiment, if it ever came, came too 
late, and one prominent cause for the loss of the 
American possessions of France, was lack of 

It is impossible to determine, with any pre- 
cision, at what time this country was first discov- 
ered by the French. It must have been visited 
by travellers or roving traders long before its 
setdement. The fur trade, and especially the 
trade in beavers, was the chief and earliest branch 
of commerce in the colony, and began with its 
beginnings. The Lake country was considered 
by Indians and whites as the chief source of sup- 
ply for beavers, and for most of the more valua- 
ble furs and peltries. Long before the Iroquois 
extended their incursions so far to the west, the 
peninsula of Upper Canada was a favorite seat 
of the Ouendats or Hurons,' who were more 
civilized and less nomadic than any of their west- 
ern neighbors. The undefined region called the 
Saghinan, or Saginaw country, which seems to 
have been ' sometimes spoken of as identical 
with the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, was famous 
for its wealth in beasts of the chase; and de- 

I The term Huron is French, and was given to these Indians because 
of the appearance of their hair, which was rough and ridged like the bristles 
of a wild boar — ''hurey Cheveux Releves was another name of the same 
meaning— i. e. with hair standing up— applied by Champlain as is supposed 
to the Ottawas. The name of the Hurons used among themselves was 
Guendat, anglicised into Wyandot. Huron was an old name for miners. — 
2 Mezeray, 148. 



scriptions of it reached the first visitors at Mon- 
treal and were heard by Jaques Cartier. 

It is possible that the wandering traders may 
have had temporary stations on the borders, but 
the earliest establishments of which we have any 
unquestioned record were the missions. There 
are vague references to companies of French 
passing up and down the strait now known as 
the Detroit River ; and there seems much reason 
to believe that a village of Hurons existed at or 
near the present site of Detroit very early in the 
seventeenth century. There is nothing to indicate 
that at that period the passage was dangerous. 
The Huron villages, if the accounts of early tra- 
vellers are correct, were not much, if any, inferior in 
their defensive arrangements, or in their habita- 
tions, to some of the first trading posts and mis- 
sions. That people, both in language and in 
habits, showed evidences of aptitude for civiliza- 
tion beyond the ordinary savages. The earliest 
missions in the neighborhood of Michigan are 
supposed to have been those of the Recollet 
Fathers in Upper Canada, near and on Lake 
Huron and its affluents, which were founded dur- 
ing the time of Champlain, who is reported, but 
perhaps on doubtful authority, to have passed 
through the strait on one of his journeys, and is 
claimed by the official memoirs to have discov- 
ered this region in 1612.' 

I Champlain's maps show that he knew the connection between Lake 
Huron and the lower lakes, though not depicting it with geographical 

Chap. II.j feAkLV MISSIONS. 


Whether any of the missionaries visited this 
immediate neighborhood during their residence 
among the Hurons at Georgian Bay is not 
known. But there is every reason to beHeve 
they had a mission of some consequence on the 
eastern side of Lake Huron, near its outlet and 
not far north from Port Sarnia. 

When the Iroquois overran the Huron coun- 
try all vestiges of the European settlements dis- 
appeared. The Lower Peninsula of Michigan 
having been mostly unoccupied by tribal settle- 
ments, there was very litde to invite invasion. 
In their western excursions the Iroquois appear 
on some occasions to have reached the southern 
borders of Lake Michigan. But there is no 
evidence that they ever dwelt in the lake region 
of Michigan ; and if they ever traversed it, they 
retained no hold on it. It was never actually 
possessed by any but the northern and western 
tribes, who were independent nadons, and owed 
no fealty, and acknowledged none, to the Iroquois 
or their allies. 

Missions were founded by the Jesuits on the 
northern and southern borders of the Upper Pen- 
insula of Michigan. Raymbault and Jogues visited 
the Sault de Ste. Marie in 1641, but do riot 
seem to have made any establishment, having 
returned to their mission at Penetanguishine the 
same year. In 1660 Mesnard coasted along the 
south shore of Lake Superior as far as the head 
of Keweenaw Bay, known as L'Anse. Having 


[Chap. TI. 

wintered there alone among the Indians, he went 
westward in the spring, passing through Portage 
Lake, and intending, after crossing the narrow 
strip of land known as the Portage, (which has 
been recently opened to navigation by a ship 
canal,) to continue his journey to Chegoimegon 
Bay. This is the bay lying south of the Apostle 
Islands, on one of which, at La Pointe, is a very 
old settlement and mission. Mesnard had but a 
single Indian with him, and while this companion 
was removing the canoe and its contents across 
the Portage, the missionary, who was an elderly 
man and quite feeble, strayed Into the woods, and 
disappeared. How he could have been lost 
beyond the power of an Indian to discover his 
trail, we are not Informed. It is very likely he 
was deserted, or worse, by a treacherous guide. 
There is, however, a tradition that he was killed 
by the Sioux. In October, 1665, Father Allouez 
established the Mission of Chegoimegon, or La 
Pointe, which had been the destination of Mesnard. 
The mission at the Sault de Ste. Marie was 
founded by Marquette in 1668. The same year 
or the next a mission was founded on the Island 
of Michillmackinac, but removed very soon, and 
as early as 1669 ^^ 1670, to Pointe St. Ignace on 
the main land north of the Straits of Mackinaw 
and west of the Island. This place was occupied 
for many years. The establishment was after- 
wards, (but when Is not precisely known from 
published authorities,) transferred to the northern 


point of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, not far 
from Cheboygan. In Charlevoix's time (1721) 
the transfer had been made several years, and 
the old mission was abandoned and had fallen 
into decay. In Bellin's map of 1744 it is marked 
as destroyed. The determination of its precise 
location has been attended with some difficulty. 
It derives interest from the fact that the remains 
of Pere Marquette, some years after his death, 
were removed by the Indians from the place of 
his first burial, and interred at the church on 
Pointe St. Ignace.' 

The missions at the Sault de Ste. Marie and 
Michilimackinac are regarded as the first com- 
pletely ascertained settlements within the present 
State of Michigan. There is, at least, undeniable 
evidence when these missions were founded. 
Both places were important centres of infiuence. 
But while they may be assumed as the pioneer 
setdements, until further facts are established, 
there are some things which deserve reference as 
indicadng a possibility to the contrary. 

In 1687, ^po^ ^ controversy between the Gov- 
ernor General of Canada (Denonville) and Gov. 
Dongan of New York, the former and his 
agents asserted a French occupancy at Mackinaw 
for more than sixty years, and French occupation 
on the lower waters of Michigan from twenty-five 

I Marquette died on his way to Mackinaw, at the Pere Marquette River, 
where the town of Ludington is now situated, and was buried there, until 
disinterred as above mentioned. 


to forty years. Gov. Dongan would not admit 
this, but was not disposed to admit of any pre- 
vious actual possession at all. Without some 
definite evidence, such statements can only be 
regarded as having more or less probability. At 
the same time it is to be considered that except 
from missions and military posts no official 
reports were likely to be received; and that the 
missionary Relations, except where there was 
some controversy or difficulty, were not required 
to refer to the settlements for other purposes, 
and often ignored them entirely. The existence 
of defensive posts appears very frequently, in 
such casual references in public documents and 
letters as are conclusive, when the same places 
are not mentioned by historians nor always by 

The monopoly of the fur trade, and the severe 
provisions against irregular trading had given 
occasion for a great amount of contraband enter- 
prise. The men who engaged in this were an 
adventurous class of active and bold rovers called 
by the French coureurs de bois, translated by the 
English in official papers into " bushlopers," " bush- 
rangers" and " wood runners." Many of these 
were of the lower classes and dropped readily 
into the ways of the Indians, adopting their habits 
and becoming adherents to the tribes. But there 
were many also, of respectable connections, who 
betook themselves to a wandering life of hunting 
and trading, partly from love of adventure, and 


partly because they could find no other means of 
livelihood. There is no reason to regard them 
as a despicable or essentially vicious race. The 
men who have been driven to the forest by feudal 
oppressions and monopolies have usually been 
possessed of many useful qualities, which a better 
o-overnment could have turned to great advant- 
age. The outlaws of English and Scottish tradi- 
tions have generally been popular for good fellow- 
ship and sympathy with the poor. They are sel- 
dom marked by cruelty or treachery. The. adven- 
turers from the English colonies and American 
States, who have sought refuge in the woods and 
have been the pioneers of discovery in the remote 
regions, were not compelled to go except by their 
own tastes, and have generally been quite as 
honest in their dealings as any of their more 
favored brethren, and have, as they deserve, a 
very good reputation for many manly virtues. 
The coureurs de bois were seldom, if ever, found 
guilty of any treachery to the government, which 
had no claim upon their respect beyond the fact 
that they were of French blood : and this claim 
they recognized with pride. The atrocious mono- 
polies and exactions which were ultimately chief 
incentives to the first French Revolution, led to a 
recognition by respectable men of the fact that 
the offenders against such t>Tannical regulations 
were not necessarily malefactors. Accordingly no 
lines were drawn between those who sought the 
woods from love of adventure, and those who 



went from necessity, and to save themselves from 
starving. This was practically admitted by the 
government itself. In 171 3, when the colonial 
government had begun to realize the value of 
population, Mons. de Vaudreuil the Governor 
General wrote very urgently to France to obtain 
one hundred and Mty faux- sauhtie7^s (or contra- 
band salt makers) who were sent to the galleys 
for interfering with the salt monopolies of the 
Farmers General ; these would not consent to 
their going at large in France, but the offenders 
were not spoken of as in any respect undesirable 

In 1 71 7 eighty of these faux-saulniers were 
sent to begin the town of New Orleans.'' 

These bushrangers were the pioneers of French 
enterprise and discovery ; and in all the military 
movements in the remote regions, as well as nearer 
the sea, they were the chief reliance of the gov- 
ernment. Their intimacy with the tribes led to a 
great ascendancy in the Indian councils, and the 
attachment of the savages for these men who were 
familiar guests in their w^igwams, and often mar- 
ried into the tribes, led to alliances in war. The 
British governors and agents attributed the whole 
military success of the French colonies to the 
bushrangers. In 1700, Robert Livingston in an 
official report declares, that " we can never ran- 
counter the French, unless we have bushlopers as 

I 2 Charlevoix, 403. 2 2 Charlevoix, 434. 



well as they."' And Pownall in his elaborate re- 
port to the Congress of Albany in 1754, points 
out very forcibly the advantages of the French 
military settlements for colonizing purposes on the 

The numbers of these bushrangers were great, 
and they frequently consorted in large companies. 
There is every reason to believe that they went 
into the wilderness and formed temporary or 
permanent trading posts much earlier than the 
date of any of the recognized establishments. 
And while the existence of these posts was 
doubtless known to the governors and colonial 
authorities, they were unlawful settlements and 
obtained no place in the annals of the colony. 

In all expeditions towards the unsettled regions, 
these men formed a necessary part. The fur 
companies from the earliest days to our own 
time were obliged to employ their services, and 
their hardy endurance and untiring good nature 
are familiar to every one whose memory takes in 
any reminiscences of the northwestern fur trade. 
The Jesuit missionaries, however, seem to have 
held them in great abhorrence. They were no 
doubt somewhat indisposed to extreme subservi- 
ence to the clergy, while the claims of the Jesuits 
went far beyond what was allowed to be their 
due by the French government or its local repre- 
sentatives. Their roving habits led in many 

I 4 N. Y._Doc., 650. 2 6 N. Y. Doc, 893. 



cases to conduct which was very censurable, and 
Interfered with the success of the missions. But 
it is impossible to believe that these men were as 
bad as their enemies have painted them ; and in 
judging them we must not forget that those who 
opposed them most strenuously were opposed 
also to the policy of extending French settlements 
at all. The motives of their opponents have been 
discussed very sharply by most of the writers 
who have succeeded them, and the documents in 
the Marine Department have shown beyond con- 
troversy that the French government found some 
of its most serious difficulties in dealing with an 
order whose devotion and courage deserve high 
eulogiums, but who did not make the Interests of 
France or Canada their primary consideration. 
But at the same time that as a body the Jesuit 
missionaries did not desire French settlements in 
the Northwest, we are Indebted to some of them, 
of whom Marquette is a noble example, for great 
services In exploring the country, and accurate 
geographical Information. They were second to 
none in their contributions to geographical knowl- 
edge In both hemispheres; and as remarkable for 
courage and perseverance as for scientific research. 
Whatever mav have been the truth in reo^ard to 
the reasons which led them to act as they did, 
there Is no ground for suspecting them of Indi- 
vidual selfishness. Their zeal for their order was 
unbounded, but they were devoted and unselfish 
in obeying It. 


We may assume, whatever may have been 
the previous acquaintance of the French with 
this region, that the Michigan settlements began 
with those at MichiHmackinac and the Sault de 
Ste. Marie. The creation of miHtary posts and 
civil settlements at these places was almost con- 
temporaneous with the missions, and began the 
policy which, although opposed and hindered, was 
at length to prevail. Had this policy of settle- 
ment begun earlier and continued unopposed, the 
destiny of Canada might have been changed. 



The movements for the settlement of the 
Northwest began in earnest about the year 1670. 
Louis XIV. had developed into a king of bound- 
less ambition, and had a natural anxiety to extend 
his dominions into remote regions. China and 
the East Indies were at that time looked upon as 
mines of wealth, open to any European monarch 
with courage and enterprise enough to reach 
out for them. The reports which had come in 
various forms from the Northwest brought rumors 
of short and easy ways through the American 
woods and rivers to the South Sea, and it was 
believed the rich countries of the east were 
within no very long distance across the continent. 
Louis and his ministers determined to open and 
control this passage ; and the extension of Cana- 
dian settlements was in their view a necessary 
step to that end. The royal designs had always 
favored settlements, but it was very difficult to 
know what course was best, when secret intrigues 
and conflicting interests kept up a series of con- 
tradictory representations. 

The governors, who were generally anxious 
to extend the colony, were entangled in all man- 



ner of snares, and were misrepresented and op- 
posed by those who would find no profit in the 
extended jurisdiction of civil government. And 
the first efforts to extend the royal dominions 
resulted only in the establishment of a few mili- 
tary posts. But the explorations had a permanent 
value. .^ 

In 1669 or 1670, Talon, then Intendant of 
New France, sent, or claimed the credit of send- 
ing out, two parties to discover the South Sea 
passage. It was supposed for some time that 
the short route from Lake Superior to Hudson's 
Bay was all that lay between the colony and the 
South Sea. This notion prevailed in Champlain's 
time; and while further experience had created 
doubts concerning the precise way, it was still 
thought the upper lake road was likely to be the 
true one. De St. Lusson was accordingly des- 
patched in that direction, and Robert Cavelier, 
Sieur de La Salle, was ordered to the southward. 

St. Lusson pursued his journey energetically, 
and on his return in 1671, he held a council of 
all the northern tribes at the Sault de Ste. Marie, 
where they formed an alliance with the French, 
and acknowledged their supremacy.' 

From that time forward it would appear that 
there was a military post kept up beside the 
mission, and the traders made it a rallying point. 

I He supposed that he had been within 300 leagues from the Vermilion 
or South Sea and the Western Sea, where there was but 1500 leagues more 
of navigation to Tartary, China and Japan. — 9 A^. V. Doc, 72. 


The French in their early deaHngs with the 
Indians, and especially with the Iroquois, had 
done very much like the English, and made no 
attempt to conciliate them. But they discovered 
the mistake, and by resorting to friendly methods 
very soon conciliated most of their savage 
neighbors. The chiefs and people were treated 
courteously, and without that haughty arrogance 
which has too often attended the dealinor of the 
whites with the natives. The French settlers 
received and dealt with them on relations of 
equality, and they lived together on the kindest 
terms. It has been noticed by all who are fam- 
iliar with frontier life that the social relations of 
the French and Indians are exceptionally pleasant. 
The young, men were at home among the tribes, 
and often spent months with them, hunting and 
roving. The wigwam fare contented them, and 
they lived as their hosts lived. They were often 
formally adopted as chiefs, and acted as friends 
of the tribe whenever it was necessary to inter- 
vene on their behalf. It was also very common 
for the kindly French woman to receive the 
young girls into her house, and teach them 
household industry. The removal of the Indians 
from Michigan has broken up these ancient ties, 
but it was once a pleasant as well as familiar 
sight to witness the delight with which the old 
chiefs and their French brothers met, after a long 
separation, and exchanged their experiences. 

The alliance formed under the direction of 



St. Lusson was the primary means of closing the 
Northwest against the EngHsh until after the 

La Salle, who was afterwards to become more 
famous than St. Lusson, did not at this time com- 
plete his explorations. There were joined with 
him in his expedition two seminary priests, 
Dollier de Casson and Galinee. Dollier was a 
man of great personal strength, and an old officer 
of cavalry under Turenne. Galinee was especially 
skilled in surveying, and was to act as geographer. 
They all kept together until, after waiting in the 
country of the Senecas for a guide, they changed 
their plans and went to the head of Lake Ontario, 
where they met Louis Joliet. He had come down 
from the upper lakes, and recommended them to 
take that course instead of going to the Ohio. 
Dollier and his companion concluded to do this, 
and La Salle remained behind. They spent the 
winter at Lone Point on the north shore of Lake 
Erie, and in the spring set out again, but having 
lost most of their baggage by a storm at Pointe 
Pelee, they concluded to return to Montreal. 
They passed up the Detroit River, and near the 
present city of Detroit found a rude stone idol 
of repute as a manitou, and worshipped by the 
Indians. These objects of superstition seem to 
have been found in several places about the 
lakes, and received offerings of tobacco and 
other articles. The nearest one above Detroit 
was the White Rock in Lake Huron, which Mr. 

24 IMAGE - BREAKING. • L^HAr. lit. 

Schoolcraft passed on his journey In 1820 with 
Gen. Cass's expedition towards the source of 
the Mississippi.' The zealous missionaries relate 
that after their recent misfortunes there was no 
one In the party who was not filled with hatred 
against the false divinity. They broke the Idol 
in pieces with one of their axes, and contrived, 
by joining two canoes, to take the largest frag- 
ment Into deej5 water with the remainder, and so 
disposed of the abomination. 

This Is said by Mr. Parkman to be the first 
passage through Detroit River of which a record 
has been preserved, although not the first In fact.^ 
The same reliable writer has discovered evidence 
of the continued labors of La Salle during the 
next few years, of which no full account has been 
published, which Indicates that he was not without 
success In his preliminary work. But the Report 
of Courcelles in 1671 shows an accurate know- 
ledge of the geography of all the lakes but Lake 
Michigan, which must have come from earlier 
explorations, and which was not much Improved 
upon by subsequent travellers.^ 

1 Mr. Schoolcraft in that expedition remarked that he did not see any 
offerings except of articles of no value, and cjuestioned the extent of the 
reverence paid the images. Joutel in his journey says the Indians feared 
death unless they made offerings, and Charlevoix speaks of offerings as acts 
of homage. — Ckatlevoix, Letter 19, Joutei, (i La Hist. Doc.) 182. Henry 
gives several illustrations of these superstitions. — Henry's Travels passim. 

2 Discovery of the Great West, 16, 17. 

3 9 N. Y. Doc, 81. Id., p. 21. 


Meanwhile the posts of Michlllmackmac and 
the Sault were becoming- more important, as the 
traders extended their enterprises. About this 
time several names appear in history which are 
prominent among the great discoverers and 
leaders. Most of them were recognized chiefs of 
the coureurs de bois. And their place in our 
early annals is due to a course of affairs which 
was noteworthy. 

The fur trade, as already mentioned, was 
regarded at Quebec and Montreal, as it was in 
the New York posts, as the chief end and aim of 
colonial enterprise. Every one, from the Gov- 
ernor down, was suspected, and perhaps justly, 
of having a part in it ; and the principal struggle 
seems to have been between the monopolists and 
the irregular traders. The church revenues were 
increased by it, and widows and orphans were 
allowed privileges which they sold profitably. The 
result was that the country swarmed with the 
coureurs de bois, who were the indispensable agents 
of all parties legally or illegally engaged in the 
traffic. The missionaries were opposed to them, 
for the assigned reason that they demoralized the 
Indians whom they were laboring to convert. For 
the same reason they opposed the forming ot 
posts and establishments on the frontier. The 
monopolists sometimes succeeded in getting such 
restrictions laid upon the post commanders as pre 
vented them from dealing on their own accoun 
with the Indians for certain kinds of furs, and 


when the trade was in the hands of the great 
companies, as it was a large part of the time, 
they had their own agents at the forts. 

The result was that a contraband trade grew 
up, which it was asserted brought the furs into 
the hands of the English, and built up their com- 
merce. Their emissaries were also said to be 
getting into friendly relations with the Western 
tribes, and drawincr them into trade with the Iro- 
quois and the New York agencies. 

The influences which were brought to bear on 
the French government were secret but powerful, 
and the com^eurs de bois were outlawed and pro- 
scribed unless they came in and ceased their wan- 
derings. The Governor, with a patriotic desire 
to save the colony from the destruction which this 
would have inevitably brought upon it, succeeded 
in so far modifying this policy as to put them 
under some reasonable regulation, whereby he 
saved their services to the colony and secured the 
trade. The frontiers were reached by leaders of 
reputation, and posts were planted so judiciously 
as to shut out the English altogether. These 
men deserve special mention. 

When the Marquis de Tracy came out as Vice 
Roy in 1665, it was with the expectation of using 
strong measures to suppress the Iroquois, who 
were aggressive and were regarded as dangerous 
neighbors. For this crusade against the Western 
infidels he brought out the famous Carignan Reg- 
iment, which had been first organized in Savoy, 


and was afterwards turned over to the French 
King. It was a famous body of troops which 
had won its latest laurels in fiorhtine aoainst the 
Turks on the Austrian frontier. The officers were 
all gentlemen belonging to the noblesse, of French 
or Italian origin, and of tried valor. With this 
regiment another had been consolidated, known as 
that of Salieres, and the whole force was there- 
after known as the Carignan-Salieres Regiment. 
The colonial levies were also under the command 
of officers of good birth, most of whom are still 
represented among the French families of Canada 
and the Northwest. 

When the Iroquois war was over, the officers 
and men of the Carignan Regiment were mostly 
retained in the country. Many of the former 
obtained Seigneuries, and attempted to get a sup- 
port from their new estates. But the early tra- 
vellers give a sad account of the straits to which 
these veterans were exposed, in keeping the wolf 
from the door. They were brave and adventu- 
rous, and worthy to rank with those early heroes 
of discovery, Gilbert and Raleigh and Drake, 
who found in the favor of Oueen Elizabeth incen- 
tives to enterprise which her successors could 
not appreciate. They were mostly devoted mem- 
bers of the Gallican Church, but not on as eood 
terms with the Jesuits as with the other orders, 
who paid less attention to the Indians and more 
to their own countrymen. The French court 
and the Governors General appreciated the value 


of soldiers. The civilians were more attentive to 
the interests of trade, and looked upon the bold 
adventurers, who '* would rather hear the bird 
sing than the mouse squeak," as the Sheriff of 
Nottingham did on Robin Hood. 

The sagacious ministers had determined to 
use this valuable material to extend discovery. 
The expeditions which Talon reports himself to 
have sent out were probably suggested, at least, 
from France. It is one of the curious facts con- 
nected with the colonial administration that the 
public documents are usually made to exhibit the 
local authorities as originating everything, when 
the facts brought to light from other sources, in 
the Marine Department and elsewhere, show that 
they were compelled to permit what they osten- 
sibly directed. But, however this may be, it had 
become necessary to move in the matter, or run 
the risk of serious difficulty in the future. 

On the second day of May, 1670, Charles II. 
issued letters patent incorporating " The Governor 
and Company of Adventurers of England, trading 
into Hudson's Bay," granting them the sole trade 
and commerce of the waters within the entrance 
of Hudson's Straits, except in the lands not 
granted to others nor possessed by any other 
Christian prince or state. The ignorance that pre- 
vailed on the subject of the boundaries between the 
two nations in those parts, and the certainty that 
future boundaries must depend much on actual 
control or occupancy, made it necessar)^ to move 



at once, or run a risk of losing command of the 
Northern trade.' 

At this time New York was In possession of 
the Dutch, but a few years after, in 1674, this 
also passed into the hands of the English, who 
were disposed to make the most of their chances, 
and anxious to form such trading connections as 
would have hemmed in Canada, and shut off its 
whole western and northwestern traffic. 

In 1672 Colbert advised Talon to offer a re- 
ward for the discovery of the South Sea. The 
King and Colbert united at or about the same 
time in a secret letter to Frontenac, which gives 
a curious illustration of the diplomacy of the 
period. Expressing warm commendation of the 
clergy of both orders for their devotion and ser- 
vices to relia"ion, and commendincr them to hirfi 
consideration, it advises the Governor, without 
creating any apparent rupture, to restrain the 
designs of the Jesuit Fathers in Quebec within 
proper bounds of respect for the temporal author- 
ity, and to encourage and protect the ecclesiastics 
of the Seminary of St. Sulpice at Montreal as 
well as the Recollet Fathers, in Quebec, — " it 
being necessary to support the two ecclesiastical 
bodies, in order to counterbalance the authority 

I In May. 1872, my valued friend, Hon. David Mills, M. P., presented 
to the Dominion Government an elaborate and thorough report on the boun- 
daries of the Province and of the Hudson's Bay Company, which is of much 
historical value, and contains information not, so far as I know, made public 
in any other work. — See A Repot t on the Boundaries of the Province of On- 
tario. By David Mills, M. P. Toronto, 1873. 


the Jesuit Fathers might assume to the prejudice 
of His Majesty."' The next effective action may 
not have orimnated in Quebec, but Frontenac and 
Talon, the Intendant, both appear to have favored it. 
In 1672, Grandfontaine, Governor of Acadia, sent 
JoHet to the Mascoutin country (Wisconsin) to 
discover the South Sea and the Mississippi River, 
which was supposed to discharge itself into the 
Gulf of California.^ He was joined at Mackinaw 
by Father Marquette, and on the 17th of May, 
1673, they left the Mission of St. Ignace on 
one of the most successful of the early explora- 
tions. They went up the Fox. River and across 
the portage, to the Wisconsin, and thus reached 
the Mississippi on the 17th of June. In another 
month they reached below the 34th parallel of 
latitude in the country of the Akansas, and then 
returned, reaching Green Bay at the end of Sep- 
tember. Joliet went on to Quebec in the next 
year, arriving there during the summer. The 
Governor reports him as having found continuous 
navigation excepting at Niagara, from Lake 
Ontario to the Gulf of Mexico, and as having 
discovered admirable countries. ^ Mr. Shea, in 
his excellent history of the Discovery of the 
Mississippi River, gives a copy of that portion of 
Frontenac's Report which refers to this journey in 
the original French, as it refutes one of Henne- 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, 88. 

2 Frontenac's Letter to France. See 9 N. Y. Doc, 92. 

3 9 N. Y, Doc, 121. 

Chap. III. J LA SALLE. 31 

pin's assertions concerning Joliet's failure to report 
to the crovernment.' 

Joliet probably went eastward through the 
Detroit River and Lake Erie. 

In 1675, a patent of nobility was granted to 
Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, for meritorious 
services.^ Among the things which His Majesty 
regards as especially worthy of reward among 
his Canadian subjects, is "despising the greatest 
perils, in order to extend to the ends of this New 
World our name and our dominion." It is to be 
inferred that La Salle had spent some time, at 
least, in distant explorations which have not yet 
been published. 

Meanwhile there is nothing of record bearing 
directly on the history of Michigan, beyond the 
occasional references to the missions and the 
traders. There is reason to believe that Du 
Luth and others had already penetrated far into 
the Northwest, and the reports which credit him 
with the discovery of the Upper Mississippi are 
not improbable. Hennepin was rescued by him 
in July, 1680, in the upper country, and it was 
probably familiar ground. 

In 1678, La Salle, having returned to France, 
obtained Royal letters authorizing him to spend 
five years in exploring, with liberty to build forts 
where he should deem it necessary, and hold 

1 Shea's History of Discovery of the Mississippi, p. xxxiii. 

2 9 N. Y. Doc, 125. 



them with the same privileges as his fort at 
Frontenac. He was not to trade with the 
Outawacs (Ottawas) or others who bring their 
beavers and peltries to Montreal, but was to 
have the right to trade in buffalo-skins. There 
is reason to believe that La Salle had with the 
concurrence of Frontenac and others given a lib- 
eral construction to his trading privileges at Fort 
Frontenac, and such seems to have been a com- 
mon practice. 

He returned to Canada, having with him an 
associate who from that time onward was his 
faithful friend and follower, and who was one of 
the most efficient men that ever came to Amer- 
ica. His name appears constantly in the early 
records of dealings in Michigan. This was Henry, 
the Chevalier de Tonty. He was of Italian 
origin, but his father. Lorenzo Tonty had settled 
in Paris, and was there as early as 1653, as in 
that year he submitted to the King the financial 
scheme of life interests and survivorships once 
quite popular under the name of Tontine. The 
Chevalier began his military career in the French 
army as a cadet in 1668, and served several 
years by land and water, the naval service then 
not having been separated from the military as 
completely as it has been since. During the Sici- 
lian Campaign he lost a hand at Libisso by a 
grenade, and was taken prisoner, and exchanged 
six months after. His hand was replaced by one 
of steel, which gave him the name of Iron-hand, 

Chap. III.] THE GRIFFIN. 33 

among- the Indians who had great respect for 
him. He returned again to the wars, but when 
peace was declared he was thrown out of em- 
ployment. He was recommended to La Salle by 
the Princess of Conti, and when that leader came 
back to Canada Tonty came with him. Henry 
de Tonty had a younger brother who was for a 
long time in command at Detroit, and was there 
when Charlevoix visited the place in 1721. On 
his return to America La Salle at once becjan 
preparations for his work. He met with many 
embarrassments, but finally, in the winter of 1678-9, 
began building a vessel of sixty tons burden, a 
few miles above Niagara Falls. This was com- 
pleted in the spring or early summer of 1 679. 
This vessel, which was the first that ever sailed 
on Lake Erie or the upper lakes, was called the 
Griffin, and bore a carved image of that heraldic 
monster as a figure-head, in honor of Frontenac, 
being part of his coat of arms. And in further 
evidence of his fealty to his friend and patron, La 
Salle is reported to have boasted that he would 
make the Griffin fly higher than the ravens, the 
black-gowns or Jesuits having gained that sobri- 
quet. The little ship was provided with five 
small cannon and two arquebuses a croc, or wall- 
pieces usually mounted on tripods. The quarter- 
deck castle was surmounted by a carved eagle. 
A vessel of that tonnage was narrow quarters for 
the number of men in the company, and the old 
engravings (which, though not probably from 



drawings, represented die usual style of that time) 
show the high stern and after cabin, which were 
then universal, and may have had something to 
do with her final wreck. It is worthy of notice 
that skilled mechanics and artists should be found 
in such an expedition. The old chapels in the 
Northwest, where there was no local demand for 
artists, sometimes show bits of carving which 
would be creditable anywhere, and indicate great 
skill in the early workmen. On this eventful 
voyage, in addition to his sailors and other follow- 
ers, La Salle was accompanied by three priests. 
Gabriel de la Ribourde, the last scion of an old 
family of Burgundian nobles, came out in his old 
age to preach the gospel in the wilderness, and 
was head of the mission, although Hennepin con- 
veys the impression that he himself was in fact, 
if not in name, both civil and religious director. 
Father Zenobe Membre was of less note, but 
evidently a good and faithful man. Hennepin, 
whose reputation is not savory, was the third. 
The latter wrote various versions of the history 
of the expedition, which are in many respects 
sufficiently reliable, but which are grossly unfair 
to La Salle and Tonty as well as others, and to 
which in the later editions are appended narra- 
tives that are generally discredited. These appen- 
dages do not concern Michigan, and need not be 
discussed. He was evidently distrusted by La 
Salle and Tonty. He accounts for the enmity 
of the former, by alleging he had rebuked him 


freely for religious shortcomings. He lays Tonty's 
dislike to the inveterate hatred of the old soldier 
against all subjects of the King of Spain ; and 
his suspicion of the monk's fidelity was extreme, 
and, as it turned out, not illfounded. 

The vessel was manned by voyageurs and 
other men of experience in the country, and the 
pilot Lucas was an old salt water mariner of 
some pretensions. There is no doubt but that 
La Salle had taken some pains to supply himself 
with proper material for his expedition. 

On the seventh of August, 1679, the Griffin 
started on her first voyage to the Northwest, 
beginning her course with the singing of the Te 
Deum, and the firing of cannon. The wind was 
favorable and she made a quick passage over 
Lake Erie, anchoring at the mouth of Detroit 
River or the Strait on the evening of the tenth 
of August. 



The Griffin was built during the winter and 
spring of 1679. In the autumn of 1678 La vSalle 
sent forward some Frenchmen to winter at Detroit, 
and meet him when he should come up in the 
next summer. This would indicate a knowledge 
of the country, and an assurance that there was 
some place suitable for a winter abode. Allusion 
has already been made to the fact that the early 
narratives often make no reference whatever to 
the existence of posts and Indian villages lying 
directly in the way of the traveller. The narra- 
tives of the voyage of the Griffin do not inform 
us of any sight of human beings between Niagara 
and Mackinaw\ We have no certain means of 
knowing whether there was any Indian town, or 
any post of coureurs de bois, upon the Strait at 
the time. There must have been one or the 
other in all probability. Tonty was sent up in a 
canoe in advance of the Griffin, to join the others 
at " a place called Detroit, 1 20 leagues from 
Niagara." This fact appears in Tonty's own 
narrative or memoir sent to the Government in 
1693, where he repeatedly refers to Detroit as a 

Chap. IV.] THE STRAIT. 37 

place that can be identified as at or near where 

the city of Detroit now stands/ It may have been 

that the Indian town mentioned by Golden as at 

" Tetuhsa Grondie' was still in existence. The 

term written by the English and Dutch interpreters 

in a multitude of different ways more or less 

resembling it, and by the French as Taochiarontion, 

Atiochiarontiong, Teiocharontiong, Techaronkion, 

etc., was applied properly to an undefined region 

embracing the Strait,' and according to Hennepin, 

It gave a name to Lake Erie. Several of the old 

maps give it this title. The name given by the 

Hurons to the place where the city stands was 

Karontaen, a word closely resembling If not the 

same as Carantoiian, the great stronghold where 

Champlain's follower, Etienne Brule, spent a winter 

with a tribe supposed by Parkman to have been 

the Erles.3 These men were not sent up to 

explore, and it Is difficult to believe they would have 

been turned out without a leader In an unknown 


On the I ith of August, 1679, the vessel weighed 
anchor and entered the Strait. The party were 
gready charmed with all that they saw, and the nar- 

1 I La. Documents, 53, 68, 69, 70. 

2 Taochiarontion. La Cote du Detroit.— /'^//Vr y1/6'. '' ( ote'' was used 
as 'Woasf' was in old English, not merely to mark a hill or water boundary, 
but a vicinage or border-land. 

3 Pioneers of PVance in the New World, 377-8. 

The Jesuit Journal of 1653 (for July) speaks of 800 of the neutral 
nation wintering at Skenchid'ie, near Teiochanontian. In the New Vork doc- 
uments the English and Dutch forms of the name are 19 in number. 

38 LAKE ST. CLAIR. [Chap. IV. 

ratlve of Hennepin, (like those of La Hontan and 
Charlevoix,) is almost rapturous in its expressions 
of admiration for the tall woods and verdant mead- 
ows, the fruits and vines, and the infinite abundance 
of birds and beasts. We are informed that La Salle 
was strongly urged to stop and settle on the Strait, 
but his real purpose, not then disclosed, was to com- 
pete with the Spaniards for the Lower Mississippi 
and Gulf Country, and so early a break in his voy- 
age was not to be thought of. 

On the 1 2th of August, which is known in the 
Calendar as Ste. Claire's day, they entered the Lake 
formed by an expansion of the vStrait, and named 
it after that Saint. Modern geographers have 
called it Lake St. Clair, and referred its name to 
Patrick Sinclair, an English commander of the last 
century. Its Huron name was Otsiketa, signifying 
sugar or salt, and probably referring to the salt 
springs near Clinton River, which were well known 
in the earliest days of the country.' Here they 
were wind-bound for several days, the current of 
the upper Strait, (St. Clair River) being too strong 
to be overcome without a very fair breeze. They 
finally set out and reached Lake Huron on the 
23rd. They Vv^ere struck by a storm a day or 
two after, probably off Saginaw Bay, and were for 
a time in great peril. The gale abating, they 
reached Mackinaw safely. On the 2nd of Sep- 

I This little lake also had various names. One was Lac Chaudiere 

(kettle) from its round shape. On the Duteh maps it is called Kandekio. 

On some of the French maps Ganntchio. — See Maps hi Michigan State 


tember La Salle left Mackinaw, and after visiting 
Green Bay, whence he despatched the Griffin east- 
ward with a valuable cargo of furs, he coasted 
down the eastern shore of Lake Michicran and 
finally landed at the mouth of the St. Joseph 
River, then called the River of the Miamis. 
There he built a timber fort or block-house fifty by 
eighty feet. He subsequently went up that river 
and crossed over to the Illinois River, and thence 
worked down to the Mississippi. 

This fort does not appear to have been of 
much consequence originally, and there was never 
any outside settlement of whites about it. In 
1697, when an attempt was made to induce the 
King to call In all the traders from the North- 
west, and destroy the posts, an exception was 
proposed in favor of the forts at Mackinaw and 
the River St. Joseph, as necessary to obstruct the 
trade of the English and Iroquois with the 
Western and Northern Indians.' A few years 
before (in 1691 or 1692) some English traders 
were said to have dealt with the Miamis near 
the latter post,^ and Tonty, Courtemanche, Nicholas 
Perrot, and other noted leaders, were sent up to 
keep the Indians in the Erench interest. When 
Charlevoix visited the country in 1721, he spent 
some time at this post, which had then been re- 

1 2 Charlevoix Hist., 211-212. 

2 In 1670 some Iroquois reached the Ottawa country under the guidance 
of Frenchmen, on a political mission. — 9 JV. Y. Doc, 84. 

40 DV LUTH. [Chap. IV. 

moved some distance up the river into the 
present State of Indiana. 

Meanwhile this region, from its abundance of 
furs, and from its lying in the path of all who 
soueht to deal in those articles, was assumino^ 
considerable importance. The coureurs de bois 
had become very numerous, and there was great 
clamor a^J^ainst them. The Encrlish in New York 
were reaching out as far as they could for the 
Upper Country trade. The company at Quebec, 
in order to prevent beaver-smuggling, desired to 
exclude all but their own servants from the woods. 
We find constant reference to Du Luth, De la 
Foret, Durantaye, De Lusigny, and other con- 
spicuous characters, as not only active in explor- 
ing, but engaged in unlawful traffic. These men 
were all useful in defending the posts and holding 
the savages under control, and without them the 
close of the seventeenth century would have seen 
this region in the hands of the English. Du Luth, 
with great foresight, built a fort on the Kam- 
inistique River, on the north shore of Lake 
Superior, which completely shut off access to the 
Hudson Bay country from below, according to 
the routes then known. He was the first also 
to see the necessity of fortifying on the Strait. 

In 1679, while La Salle was preparing for his 
journey, the Intendant Duchesneau made bitter 
complaints against Frontenac the Governor and 
Du Luth, as concerned together. He says that 
500 or 600 brave men were in the country own- 


Ing Du Luth as commander.' De Lusigny, Du 
Luth's brother-in-law, was also charged as im- 
plicated. In 1680, It was said that every family 
had friends among the coiir^citrs de bois. 

That year an amnesty was granted. The 
reason appears In the Increasing pretensions and 
Incursions of the Iroquois, and the need of soldiers 
for the posts on Lakes Erie and Ontario to re- 
strain them." In 1682, De la Barre became 
Governor, and his policy was bold and active. 
Du Luth was received more openly Into favor, 
and naturally aroused new enmity In certain 
quarters. 3 He was present at a council In Quebec 
that year, and may have suggested, what was a 
familiar Idea with La Motte Cadillac, that the 
Lakes needed armed vessels to guard the way to 
the west. De la Barre proposed to have a fleet 
stationed on Lake Erle.^ He had a poor Idea of 
the value of La Salle's explorations, and La Salle 
In turn regarded him and Du Luth and De la 
Foret as enemies who had Interfered with his 
Interests. La Salle appears to have had some 
notion that he had pre-empted the country. 
These trade jealousies were possibly well founded, 
but they show how demoralizing the whole monop- 
oly system must have been. Du Luth was so 
pressed by calumny, that he went to France and 
there was able to vindicate himself completely, so 
that no more Is heard against him. On his return 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, 131, 132, 140. 3 9 N. Y. Doc, 194. 

2 9 N. Y. Doc, 147. • 4 9 N. Y. Doc, 196. 


he assumed the defence of Mackinaw, co-operat- 
*ino- widi De la Durantaye, an old Carignan 
officer, of great bravery,' but not fortunate in his 
finances; and these two gentlemen appear to have 
acted together in many enterprises, until the former 
was recalled by PYontenac to the east/ In 1683, 
I)u Luth is declared to be the only person who 
can keep the Indians quiet. But he continued in 
bad odor with the Company, and in 1684, De la 
Barre, Du Luth, De la Chesnaye, and Deschaillons 
de St. Ours, are paraded in a memoir on the sup- 
pression of beaver smuggling as prime offenders.^ 
These incessant attacks upon the best men in the 
colony, by a set of grasping knaves who would 
have had no country to prey upon without them, 
are not edifying. 

In 1684, ^^^ I3. Barre, in recognition of the 
importance of the route through Lake Erie and 
the Strait, sent an army to Mackinaw that way. 
About this time disputes arose between him and 
Governor Donean of New York on the French 
pretensions to Michigan, and both De la Barre 
and his successor Denonville had a sharp corres- 
pondence with Dongan on the subject. It became 
evident that the latter was sdrring up the Iroquois 
to dispute possession with the French, and plans 
were made to send up English traders and agents 
in the direcdon of Mackinaw, to deal with the 
tribes there. ^ In 1686, Denonville directed Du 

I 9 N. V. Doc, 201-2. 2 9 N. Y. Doc, 205. 

3 9 N, V. Doc, 297. I I, a Ilontan, 78, 79. Id., 300. 


Luth to fortify the Strait. This was at once done, 
and the latter estabHshed a post ("or castle," as 
it was termed by the English agents,) at the 
head of the Strait, at or very near the present 
Fort Gratiot. He began his work with a garrison 
of fifty men, well equipped, and all coui^eiirs dc 
bois. This fort was called Fort St. Joseph. In 
November of that year, in the memoir sent to 
France by the Governor, he refers to it with 
great satisfaction as having turned out to be an 
important defence.' It also appears that Dongan 
had given reason to believe he would take meas- 
ures to attack it.^ Rig^id orders were sent out to 
shoot any Frenchman found among foreign tra- 
ders who might be met in the country.^ 

Governor Dongan reports the fact that the 
French had built one or two wooden forts on the 
way to the far Indians, who, he says, were inclined 
to trade in New York, because the French could 
not protect them from the Iroquois. "* But as the 
Iroquois represented to the English that they 
were unable to cope with the French, and as the 
Mackinaw and other Michigan Indians were not 
disturbed by the Iroquois, this statement may 
pass for a pretext. The Governor also informed 
his superiors that he was about sending a Scotch 
gentleman called McGregor (McGregory) to open 
communications with the distant tribes, adding 
(which was also under the circumstances a very 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, 306. 3 Id., 315. 

2 Id., 309. 4 3 N. Y. Doc, 395. 


curious statement) that McGregory had orders 
not to meddle with the French, and he hoped 
they would not meddle with him. 

This expedition, consisting of sixty English and 
Dutch traders and a considerable escort of Iro- 
quois, left for Mackinaw, a part in 1686 and a 
part very early in 1687. ^^ was divided into two 
nearly equal companies, a IJutch trader named 
Roseboom going first, and McGregory following 
him with orders to take supreme command. It 
does not appear very plainly what course Rose- 
boom took, but he seems to have got into Lake 
Huron without being seen from Fort St. Joseph. 
The men who were with him stated he had gone 
to a distance of a day and a half's journey from 
the castle, when he was captured by a force of 
French and Indians. The capture appears to 
have been made by a party under De la Duran- 
taye.' Whether casually or by agreement, there 
happened at this very juncture a remarkable 
gathering of distinguished officers. The Chevalier 
de Tonty, in April, 1687, (after returning with 
orders from the Governor General,) had taken 
measures to gather the Indians in Western Michi- 
gan and in the Illinois Country, and to declare 
war against the Iroquois. La Foret had gone on 
by way of the Lakes from Fort St. Louis with 
thirty Frenchmen, to wait at Detroit until Tonty 
arrived over-land; and he reached Fort St. Joseph 
at or about the same time when Durantaye came 

I I l.a Montan, 1 15. 

Chap. IV.] McGRECiORY TAKEN. 45 

In with his captives. Tonty left Sieur de Belle- 
fontaine to command at the fort on St. Joseph 
River, and came across Michigan with 1 50 Illinois 
Indians, arriving at "Fort Detroit" on the 19th 
of May. He remained at this point, which was 
the present site of the city of Detroit, and sent 
up word of his coming to his cousin Du Luth at 
Fort St. Joseph. In a few days he was joined by 
Beauvais de Tilly (or more properly Tilly de 
Beauvais)' and soon after by La Foret, who was 
followed by Durantaye and Du Luth with their 
prisoners. They joined forces and went down 
Lake Erie in canoes, and on their way captured 
McGregory with thirty Englishmen and some 
allied Indians, and some French and Indian cap- 
tives. The depositions of McGregory's party state 
that the French party consisted of 1500. The 
Governor's report puts them at 400. Tonty does 
not mention the number. They were going to 
Niagara, expecting to fight the Iroquois,^ and the* 
officers who were engaged were the prominent 
leaders of the Northwest.^ A laro-e amount of 
booty was captured with the two companies. 
Tonty who was senior in command sent forward 
La Foret to report to the Governor, and he 
reached Frontenac, where the Governor was in 
camp, about the end of June. The army from 
below joined the Western forces at a point on 
the south shore of Lake Ontario, where they 

1 I La. Doc, 69. 3 3 N. Y. Doc, 436. 

2 Q N. Y. Doc, 332. 


built a fort known as Fort les Sables. Here 
they shot a Frenchman named Lafontaine Marion, 
(according to La Hontan, — Abel Marion in the 
depositions), who was acting as guide to the 
Eno-lish company.' La Hontan refers to this with 
some indignation as an act of cruelty, the trade 
regulations giving no chance to get a living in 
the colony, and there being peace with the 
English.- After a short but sharp campaign in 
the Seneca country, the troops returned to the 
fort, and Tonty and Du Luth went homeward 
accompanied by Baron La Hontan, who was sent 
up to take command at Fort St. Joseph, Du Luth 
being needed elsewhere. Tonty left the others at 
this fort, and went on with Father Crevier to Mack- 
inaw,3 and thence to his own Fort St. Louis. 
Here Tonty found the brother of La Salle, Cav- 
elier, with the rest of his company on their way 
eastward. To him as to others they said La 
Salle was living ; and Cavelier committed a gross 
fraud on Tonty, by obtaining a considerable ad- 
vance on his brother's credit. 

On the way up from Niagara, and near Buffalo, 
Tonty and his companions met a brother of Du 
Luth, Grisolon de la Tourette, who is said by La 
Hontan to have come down from Mackinaw to 
join the army, having but one canoe i"^ and the 
Baron speaks of his rashness in running such a 
fisk when the Iroquois were hostile. This gentle- 

1 3 N. Y. Doc, 430, 436. 3 La Hontan, 126, 134 i La. Dog , 70 

2 I La Hontan, 117. 4 La Hontan, 128 


man's name is not generally found in the histories. 
Great confusion has arisen from the fact that some 
times the family name is used, and sometimes 
other titles, and they are occasionally reversed 
so that the family name is made to represent the 
estate. Du Luth's family name was Grisolon, and 
La Hontan speaks of him as a gendeman from 
Lyons. He was a cousin of Tonty, who as already 
mentioned was of Italian extraction. Charlevoix 
mentions as connected with La Foret and Tonty, 
and as having been long and honorably employed 
in the Illinois country, and as having great intiu- 
ence over the Indians, the Sieur Delietto, who is 
said to have been a cousin of Tonty.' This men- 
tion is late in the seventeenth centur)-, and was 
near its close. The similarity of name to Du 
Luth and the same relationship to Tontv, <^ive 
rise to a query whether there may not have been 
some confusion between the Grisolons, and whether 
this name may not belong to one of them. The 
only other reference in Charlevoix to any Delietto 
is found in the statement of the valuable services 
rendered by a post commander of that name sev- 
eral years after, in obtaining from the Head Chief 
of the Natchez the surrender of a brother who 
had been very troublesome to the French.-^ This 
officer died in 1722, a long time after Daniel 
Grisolon du Luth, whose death occurred in 1 709.-^ 

I 2 Charlevoix H., 265. 2 2 Charlevoix II., 460. 

3 Parkman's Discovery of the Cxreat West, 254, note. 

A name which belongs to one of these persons is given variously as 
Deliatto, Deslietten and Deliette. The name DeSiette in the Wisconsin 
collection is evidently a misprint of DeLiette.— 3 Wis. His, Soc\v Col , 148. 


It is much to be regretted that any of those brave 
men should drop out of history. Their services 
were brilhant, and their personal merits were such 
as in most countries would have marked them 
among the paladins. 

This assertion of dominion over the Strait by 
the French had important results. An acrimoni- 
ous correspondence followed between the Canadian 
and New York Governors,' and Governor r3ongan 
and the Iroquois had various discussions as to 
which of them should pull the chestnuts out of the 
fire, each being anxious that the other should dis- 
lodge the French. The Iroquois urged strenuously 
that the Governor should remove the French from 
Niagara, Cataraqui, and Tyschsarondia, " which is 
the place where wee goe a bever huntinge, for if 
those forts continue in French hands wee are 
always besieged."' 

The French Governor refused to release 
McGregory and his associates until finally ordered 
to do so by the home authorities, in October, 
1687. It became evident that sooner or later 
there would be a struggle for the country, unless 
precluded by secure possession. 

Up to this time no fort or post in Michigan 
had any French farming population about it. 
Mackinaw was the great centre, but here the 
coureurs de bois. who frequented and garrisoned 
the post, had their own stronghold and stores on 

I 3 N. Y. Doc, 436, 532, 536, 905, 906. 2 3 N. Y. Doc, 536 


the Island, which was uncultivated/ After that 
post was founded, the Hurons and Ottawas settled 
near it, and contrary to the modern theories of 
our Indian hating statesmen, the civilized men de- 
pended for their supplies on the barbarians. The 
Ottawas both at Mackinaw and Detroit, as late as 
Pontiac's time, paid some attendon to agriculture. 
The Hurons raised much more than they needed 
for themselves, and supplied their neighbors ; 
and Charlevoix gives them credit not only for 
being diligent farmers, but for the civilized quality 
of knowing how to get a fair price for their 
surplus stores." Baron La Hontan was obliged 
to go to Mackinaw in the spring of 1688, to 
purchase provisions for his fort from the Indians 

It was soon discovered that Fort St. Joseph 
might be dispensed with, and it was burned by 
La Hontan in 1688.'^ The Fort at Detroit, which 
was afterwards put on the foodng of a settle- 
ment, continued as a military post until 1701. 
References are made to the policy of continuing 
it in 1689 ^^^ 1 69 1 ; and in 1700 M. de Longueuil 
was in command, and held an important council 
with the Indians.^ It was probably nothing more 
than a block-house, and may have been at times 

1 La Hontan, 144-5. Charlevoix, Letter 19. 

2 Letter 17. 4 La Hontan, 171. 

3 La Hontan, 139. 59 N. Y. Doc, 399, 511, 647, 704, 713. 


In 1692 La Motte Cadillac, who had become 
a man of note among- the colonists, and who had 
devised intelligent plans for commanding the 
country by fleets as well as forts, was sent to 
France to o-'we his views to the Kingf and his 
ministers.' On his return he assumed an import- 
ant place in the management of western affairs. 
In his memoir on Iroquois affairs, in 1694,^ he 
vindicated the coiu^eiu^s de bois, and was severe 
on their maligners, whom he charged with giving 
false statements of fact concerning Mackinaw and 
other matters. He was very influential among 
the Indians, and in 1695 especial mention is made 
of his good qualities, and of his shrewdness in 
Indian affairs. Frontenac, who at this period was 
Governor, and who had returned in that capacity 
in 1689, ^^'^ i^"^ sympathy with him. But at this 
time the war against the traders was very 
warmly pushed by the missionaries, and they 
procured an order from France to have the 
military post of Mackinaw^ and all others but 
Fort St. Louis abandoned. Frontenac, however, 
prevented this, but the trade in furs was more 
rigidly confined to licensed traders, and the 
Canada Company. Twenty-five licenses were 
granted yearly, mostly to widows and orphans 
of deserving persons, who sold them to traders. ^ 
These allowed eoods of a certain amount and 
value to be carried into the Indian country, and 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, 530, 543, 546, 549. 3 Charlevoix, Letter 4. 

2 Id., 577. 


bartered or sold 'to die Indians ; and the profits 
were very great. Special permissions were given 
to post commanders and others, and the licenses 
were extended liberallv so as to ^ive the owner 
opportunities for extensive traffic. The war with 
England (declared in the spring of 1689, ^^^^ 
not ended until the Treaty of Ryswick, in 1697,) 
suspended the operations of the English in the 
Northwest, and confined the more severe hostilities 
to the regions further east. 

As soon, however, as the peace was declared, 
under the pretext that the Western Lake Coun- 
try was not really French territory, the New York 
authorities began to lay plans for getting into 
possession. In 1699, Robert Livingston laid 
before Lord Bellomont a project for taking pos- 
session of Detroit. He proposed sending 200 
Christians, and 300 or 400 Indians of the Five 
Nations, '^o make a fort at a place called 
Wawijacktenok [ Waweatanong. the name of Detroit 
in the Chippewa tongue,] where a party of 
Christians are to be left, being a place plenty 
of provisions, many wild beasts using there," etc. 
He remarks on the disposition of the French to 
claim everything.' 

In the same year La Motte Cadillac first 
proposed to the French Government to make a 
settlement for habitation at the same place.- 
He did not immediately succeed. 

1 4 N. Y. Doc, 501. 

2 Conversation with Count Pontcliartrain. — Sheldon, 143. 


In 1 700 Livingston renewed his project more 
earnestly. He declares that we " can never ran- 
counter the French unless we have bushlopers as 
well as they." He then points out the course to 
be pursued. " To build a fort at Wawyachtenok, 
cal'd by the French De Troett, the most pleasant 
and plentiful inland place in America by all rela- 
tion, where there is arable land for thousands of 
people, the only place of bever hunting for which 
our Indians have fougrht so lono- and at last forced 

o o 

the nations to fly. Here you have millions of 
elks, bevers, swans, geese, and all sorts of fowl. 
The fort to be between Sweege Lake and Otta- 
wawa' Lake, , which place lyeth by computation 
southwest from Albany seven hundred and forty- 
four miles, viz : From Albany to Terindequat at 
the Lake of Cadaraqui four hundred miles, from 
thence to Onyagara where the great fall is 
eighty miles, from thence to the beginning of 
Sweege Lake forty miles, and from the Sweege 
Lake to the place called Sweege, being a creek 
which comes into Sweege Lake, sixty-four miles, 
and from thence to Wawyachtenok one hundred 
and sixty miles," etc.^ 

La Motte Cadillac, finding his scheme likely to 
fail, went to France and laid his plans before 
Count Pontchartrain.- His conversation was re- 
duced to writing, and copied, with other documents, 
for General Cass, from the French archives. The 

» Huron. » 4 N. Y. Doc, 650. 



interesting work of Mrs. Sheldon on the Early 
History of Michigan copies it at length.' 

His object was, In the first place to make it a 
permanent post, not subject to frequent changes; 
— (the official documents show that previous posts 
on the Strait had been subject to these mutations.) 
To secure permanence it was necessar}^ to have 
numerous Frenchmen, both traders and soldiers, 
and to induce the friendly Indians to gather 
around it, and so become able to meet the Iro- 
quois with less difficulty. He pointed out the fact 
that as this was the only way to the fur country, 
it would intercept the English trade, and by pla- 
cing the post at Detroit it would open a trade 
further to the southwest than could be reached 
from above. 

The Minister at the close informed him that he 
should have 200 men of different trades, and six 
companies of soldiers. The common accounts say 
that with his commission as commandant, which he 
received directly from the Crown, and not from 
the Governor, he obtained a grant of fifteen acres 
square, at whatever point the new fort should be 
located. This grant has not yet been printed. It 
is certain that he had a much laro-er o^rant at 
some time, but this may have been the first. 

La Motte Cadillac reached Quebec, on his re- 
turn from France, on the 8th of March, 1701. He 
left for his new post on the 5th of June, with 50 

I p. 8!;. 


soldiers and 50 artisans and tradesmen, the younger 
Tonty accompanying him as captain, and Dugue 
and Chacornacle as heutenants. A Jesuit missi- 
onary to the Indians and a Recollet chaplain for 
the French were also in the company. They 
reached Detroit on the 24th of July, 1701. 

The fort which was then commenced was called 
F^ort Pontchartrain, after the friendly minister who 
had favored it, and bore that name until changed 
after the British conquest. 

This was the beginning of the settlement of 
Michigan, for purposes of habitation and civil 



About the time of La Motte Cadillac's return, 
and when Callieres, the Governor General, was 
expecting to carry out his instructions concerning 
the founding of Detroit, he held a council at 
Montreal with a deputation of Iroquois for the 
peaceful settlement of some complaints, and they 
departed in good humor. But in June, the Chief 
Sachem of the Onondagas, Tcganissorens. returned 
with other chiefs, and complained that it was 
unfair to build a fort at Tuighsaghroiidy before 
he acquainted them therewith.' 

It appeared from the Chiefs statements, that 
the English had been negotiating with the Iroquois 
for the purpose of building a fort in the same 
place, but the Chief claimed the Indians had 
objected and refused consent. The Governor had 
in some way been informed of the designs of the 
English, which Avere set forth in Livingston's 
manifesto, and it may have hastened the French 
action. La Motte Cadillac had seen the necessity 
of promptness. Callieres answered by com- 

I 4 N. y. Doc, 891. 


mending their refusal to the English to allow 
them to usurp a country which was not theirs, 
but said he was master of his own country, 
although he only desired to use his rights for the 
benefit of his children ; and while ill-disposed 
persons might object, the Indians would one day 
thank him for what he had done. Teo^anissorens 
made no direct reply to this, but said the English 
would find it out, and he hoped, in case of war 
between French and English, their tribes might 
not be embroiled. Callieres replied that he did 
not expect the English to do anything but oppose 
it, and all he asked of the tribes was neutrality. 
This the Chief agreed to.' 

In July, and before La Motte Cadillac's arrival, 
the Iroquois held a conference with the New York 
authorities, in which they said they would be glad 
to remove the end of the chain of friendship to 
Tiochsaghrondie or Wawyachtenok, if in their 
power, but the French would mock at it, for these 
had taken it in possession against their wills ; and 
that they had no power to resist such a Christian 

On the 19th of July, 1701, the Iroquois con- 
veyed to King William III. all their claims to lands 
in the west, and described the country granted as 
covering " that vast tract of land or colony called 
Canagarlarchio, beginning on the northwest side of 
Cadarachqui Lake,^ and includes all that vast tract 

I I Charlevoix, 270. 3 Ontario. 

3 4 N. Y. Doc, 905-6. 


of land lying between the great Lake of Ottawawa' 
and the lake called by the natives Sahlquage, and 
by the Christians the Lake of Sweege, and runns 
till it butts upon the Twichtwichs, and is bounded 
on the westward by the Twichtwichs by a place 
called Ouadoge, containing In length about 800 
miles and in breadth 400 miles, including the 
country where beavers and all sorts of wild game 
keeps, and the place called Tjeughsaghrondie alias 
Fort De Tret or Wawyachtenock, and so runns 
round the Lake of Sweege till you come to a place 
called Oniadarundaquat," etc.^ 

Reference is made to " a place called Tjeuch- 
saghronde, the principall pass that commands said 
land." And this word is also used as one of the 
boundaries in another description of the country. 

These names of the three great lakes are not 
often found on maps, but in the Iroquois negoti- 
ations no others are used. Some French maps 
call Lake Erie Oswego, and it is called Ochswego 
in the New York documents.^ 

The Iroquois claimed seriously the right to 
Upper Canada, but do not seem to have had ter- 
ritorial claims in Michigan. The complaint in 
McGregory's case was that they and the English 
had a rieht to trade with the Indians inhabitinor 
this region — chiefly Hurons and Ottawas, — not 
that the country belonged to the Iroquois. Their 
objection to the forts on Lake Ontario, Niagara 

1 Huron. 3 5 N. Y. Doc, 694. 

2 4 N. Y. Doc, 908 and seq. 


and Detroit, was that these commanded their beaver 
country, by covering the passes by which alone it 
was reached. 

It is within the recollection of many persons 
now living, that no carrying of goods to any large 
amount was possible except by water. The furs 
were all taken back and forth in canoes, until in 
very recent times bateaux and Mackinaw boats 
were substituted. The journey to Montreal and 
Quebec from Michigan was commonly made 
through Lake Huron, Georgian Ba)' and the 
Ottawa River, or occasionally through other streams 
leadine to Lake Ontario from the north. The 
way through Lake Erie and round Niagara Falls 
was the most direct way to New York, and was 
the only convenient path for the Iroquois ; and 
the Strait was the key to the whole, as at Detroit 
it was but about half a mile wide, with a view ol 
some two miles above, and the same distance 
below, entirely unobstructed by islands or marshes. 

In a memoir concernino^ the Indians made in 
1718, and found in the Department of the Marine, 
is a full description of the Strait and its islands. 
It is there stated that it was a lono- time doubtful 
whether Detroit should not be founded at Grosse 
He.' The cause of the hesitation was the appre- 
hension that the timber might some day fail. 
During the present century that island has been 
remarkable for the extent and beauty of its forest 
timber, but most of it was second growth, and 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, S86. 


probably in the beginning of the last century the 
land may not have been densely wooded. The 
same memoir speaks with surprise of the multitude 
and size of the apples. These were probably 
crab-apples which were abundant, and existed in 
different varieties. The translator must have been 
in error in making them as large as pippins. 
The term used in the original would seem to be 
pommcs d'api, or lady-apples, which do not always 
exceed in size large crab-apples. 

Bois-blanc Island, near the Canadian shore at 
Maiden, was in after times regarded as a more 
important point, as it commanded the deepest 
channel and an unobstructed view of all the lake 
entrance south and eastward, whereas near,Grosse 
He the channel is broken by small islands. The 
Island of Bois-blanc, formerly beautifully wooded, 
was completely denuded of trees for purposes of 
military observation, during the so-called Patriot 
War of 1838. 

Immediately on his arrival La Motte Cadillac 
enclosed his proposed fort by a stockade of a 
few acres, probably not over three or four, and 
perhaps less. It stood on what was formerly 
called the first terrace, being on the ground lying 
between Larned street and the river, and between 
Grlswold and Wayne streets. The ground was 
higher further back from the water, and the bank 
westward was also higher. But the point selected 
was opposite the narrowest part of the river or 
strait, and hicrh enoucrh to command everythinor 


within range. The fort proper, without the bas- 
tions, was one arpent square, and stood at the 
edge of the slope. If, as is probable, the plan 
of the settlement within the stockade was the same 
as subsequently, there is little difficulty in finding 
out its general appearance. There was a road 
running about the enclosure within the defences 
called the Chemin du Rondc, which appears from 
descriptions in conveyances to have been twelve 
feet wide. The other streets could not have been 
wider, and some, mentioned as little streets, were 
probably very narrow. In 1778, there were one 
twenty foot street and six fifteen foot streets ; but 
these were laid out later. The older streets in 
Quebec may have resembled them. The lots 
did not exceed twenty-five feet by thirty or forty, 
and were often smaller. M. De Bellestre, the 
last Commander under the French, purchased two 
lots together, not very long before the surrender, 
which were apparently very eligible property, the 
combined size of which was thirty feet by fifty-four, 
and this property extended from street to street. 
On the river side of the fort, the ground de- 
scended quite sharply, leaving a small space of 
level ground near the water about forty feet wide, 
which was in process of time divided into lots. 
The domain outside of the fort, being somewhat 
more than half a mile in width, was used partly 
by La Motte Cadillac for his own purposes, and 
partly rented in parcels of a fourth of an arpent 
in width by five arpents in depth. A part was 


at one time occupied by an Indian village. After 
the domain was revested in the Crown, it was 
used for a common, and other purposes of con- 
venience. But for a few years after the settle- 
ment, the cultivated grounds of the French were 
all within the domain, and within a hundred rods 
of the fort. 

The writers who describe this region in early 
times were very deficient in that habit of minute 
description which is so valuable afterwards in 
forming an idea of the domestic ways of the 
people. There is nothing to indicate whether 
there were cattle or draft animals of any kind. 
As all the expeditions from the east were by 
water, neither horses nor cattle could have been 
brought from that quarter, as after the loss of the 
Griffin there were no large boats used for a long 
time. There is, however, in a spiteful report of 
M. Aigremont, made in 1708, a passage bearing 
on this subject. • He says '' La Motte required of 
a blacksmith named Parent, for permission to work 
at his trade, the sum of six hundred francs and 
two hoesheads of ale, and the oblio^ation to shoe 
all the horses of M. La Motte, whatever number 
he may have, though at present he keeps but 
one."' It is probable the horses found in this 
region at that dme came from the southwest, and 
were a distinct breed from those afterwards in- 
troduced from below. 

I Sheldon, 281. 


Aigremont speaks also somewhat contemptu- 
ously of the small thatched log houses of the settlers 
within the walls ; and it has been hastily assumed 
that this was the character of all the buildings. 
But there is evidence to the contrary, and it is 
apparent that there were competent mechanics and 
a demand for them. La Motte Cadillac, in 1 703, 
had already under orders from Quebec, built a 
house of oak for the Huron Chief, forty feet wide 
by twenty-four feet deep/ on an eminence by the 
river overlooking the Huron village, because he 
desired to live like a Frenchman. This was cer- 
tainly a spacious and respectable building ; and 
from the landmarks may have occupied the 
beautiful spot formerly the homestead of General 
Cass, before the high and shaded terrace was cut 
down and graded. It is not likely the proud 
commander would have allowed the chief to 
possess a finer house than his own. It is supposed 
and said to be known that La Motte's own house 
occupied the same foundation that, after the great 
fire of 1805, was rebuilt upon by Joseph Campau, 
still remaininpf as one of the oldest landmarks 
within the present city limits of Detroit. Mention 
has before been made of the carved work of the 
early artisans. The same company that built the 
Griffin erected at the St. Joseph's River a building 
so large as to demand considerable skill. The 
edifices afterwards erected within Port Pont- 
chartrain, when there is no reason to suppose 

I Sheldon, iii. 


materials or labor were more abundant, were 
beyond doubt well made and expensive. The 
purchase before referred to by M. Bellestre, was 
made in 1760 of one V'ernet, who was a cutler 
as well as smith, and it was certified by Bellestre 
to have cost him 1 2,000 livres/ This if counted 
as /k'rcs pari sis would have been 3,000 dollars, 
and if livrcs toitrnois 2,500 dollars, a very con- 
siderable sum in those days. The instrument of 
purchase included not only the lots and buildings 
referred to, but Vernet's stock in trade, and his 
bill for building Bellestre's own dwelling; and the 
whole consideration was 30,000 livres, or from 
6,000 to 7,500 dollars, equivalent to more than 
double that sum now, and with the low prices of 
labor in those days probably going much further.^ 

La Motte's first care was to gather the Indians 
about him and retain them near his fort. In this 
he was very successful, very much to the wrath 
of the Fathers at Mackinaw, as the Hurons and 
most of the other Indians at that post emigrated 
to Detroit. La Motte, who had a standing feud 
with the Jesuits, for what he claimed to be un- 
authorized interference with his interests and with 
the royal wishes, wrote exultingh- and a little mal- 

1 County Records, B., 128 and seij. 

2 All houses were probably made of limber until long after the laying 
out of the new town, except two or three of brick or stone, and some barrack- 
like buildings of rough cast. Timber was cheap, round or hewed, and made 
warm and durable houses ; and until saw-mills were introduced, and boards 
and shingles readily obtainable, log or block houses roofed with thatch were 
very common in this region, and are not unknown now. 

64 INDIAN POLICY. [Cmaf. V. 

iciously to Count Pontchartrain, in August, 1703, 
giving an account of the actual and promised ac- 
cessions to his settlement, in which he says : 
*' Thirty Hurons of Michilimackinac arrived here 
on the 28th of June, to unite themselves with those 
already established here. There remain only about 
twenty -five at Michilimackinac. Father Carheil, 
who is missionary there, remains always firm. I 
hope, this fall, to pluck out the last feather of his 
wing, and I am persuaded that this obstinate old 
priest will die in his parish, without having a single 
parishioner to bury him." 

Father Carheil was a devoted and good man, 
and his zeal for the preservation of the Indians 
from demoralizing influences was commendable, 
and in some degree efficacious. 

It has not, however, been sufficiently noticed 
that La Motte's deserved reputation, (which in spite 
of his impetuosity always in the long run secured 
him the confidence of the King and his ministers, 
as well as of the Indians,) rested largely on his 
freedom from the reckless disregard shown by some 
persons for the welfare of the Indians. In a letter 
written while at Mackinaw, in 1695, in which he 
criticised a very excellent and wise prohibition of 
the sale of brandy, there are expressions which 
might seem to indicate that he cared very little 
about them or their fate. (He mentions — by the 
way — a very remarkable fact, if it be true, that 
the Sioux would not touch brandy and greatly 
disliked it.) When he had the responsibility of his 



own settlement upon his hands he manifested a 
spirit very rare In those days, and which in turn 
subjected him to the same criticism which he had 
indulged in towards the government. M. Aigre- 
mont, who lost no chance of fault-finding, charges 
La Motte with endeavoring to prevent disturbances 
from the excessive use of brandy, by putting it 
all in one storehouse and selling it at an exor- 
bitant rate, allowing no one to drink except at 
the depot, and allowing no one to have more than 
one drink of the twenty - fourth part of a quart. 
M. Aigremont complains not only that no one could 
get drunk on such a quantity, but that, as each 
had to take his turn, sometimes the Indians had 
to go home without getting even a taste. La Motte 
was, in this, wise beyond his generation. It is 
worthy of remark that the traders of Detroit in 
1775 resorted to a ver}' similar expedient, to pre- 
vent drunkenness and keep spirits away from the 

It appears that in the first instance the pro- 
prietary rights of La Motte Cadillac were not very 
extensive. The commission given him in 1 700 
has not been printed. But there was evidently 
some right of trading, though not in such furs as 
were within the monopoly. His powers as a mil- 
itary commander over all in the post seem, from 
incidental references, to have been plenary and 

I Record A., 337. 



The Canada Company procured, before the 
first year was over, from the Governor and 
Intendant, authority to assume exclusive charge of 
the fur and peltry traffic. How far this was 
authorized by the King is not evident. But within 
the next two or three years new arrangements 
were made to which Cadillac was a party, which 
gave him a certain oversight in the business, 
though not any control over its details, w^hich 
were in charge of agents. 

The Commandant had constant difficulties with 
these men, and was annoyed by very active 
enemies. The purpose of his settlement was to 
found a town of French artisans and other civilians, 
and to make it a nucleus for a large Indian 
population. He had been promised that the roving 
traders should not be allowed to interfere with it. 
But he found active opposition from the mission- 
aries and others at Mackinaw, (who were jealous 
of the rival post which had enticed away all their 
Indians,) and from the traders who had dealt with 
the tribes at the north. There were also com- 
plaints made to the King from the high officials, 
for which it is hard to find any honest explana- 
tion. They represented the fort as useless, and 
offensive to the Iroquois, and the place as not 
eligible for agriculture. Soldiers were denied him, 
and his petitions to allow settlers to come in and 
establish themselves were disregarded. 

The new war with the English, which broke 
out soon after Detroit was founded, made their 


emissaries active ; and attacks were made, some 
openly and some stealthily, upon the fort, which 
met with some calamities.' In the latter part of 
1703, and beginning of 1704, Cadillac detected 
the Company agents and some accomplices in 
very bold and important speculation and frauds, 
and put them in arrest. They had relatives in 
high positions; and in the autumn of 1704, La 
Motte was ordered to Quebec for trial on charges 
of tyrannical conduct. During his absence, which 
was protracted, much was done to destroy his 
plans, and the officer in charge provoked a war 
with some of the neighboring Indians, which was 
unfortunate in bringing much trouble on the post. 
La Motte was acquitted, but, disgusted with his 
treatment, he appealed his grievances to Count 
Pontchartrain, who came over to Quebec, and gave 
him a patient hearing, and dismissed him with 

One of the most audacious wrongs done him 
received a very severe rebuke. The King him- 
self, in 1 703, wrote to Callieres and Beauharnois, 
(Governor and Intendant,) directing them, in view 
of the conflicting representations made to him 
about Detroit, to call an assembly of the most 
reputable officers and inhabitants of Canada to 

I In 1703, the Indians near Detroit were induced to visit Albany, and 
for a time were more or less under English influence. After their return to 
Detroit they attempted to burn the fort, but were repulsed, after they had 
done some mischief. The Ottawas soon after made a demonstration in which 
they received punishment. In 1706, while Cadillac was in Quebec, another 
attack was made while M. de Bourgmont was in charge, killing a missionary. 
Father Constantine, and a soldier. 



meet Cadillac, and consider all the reasons for 
and against it, and when agreed to have him, as 
well as themselves, sign a proper memorial for 
the royal guidance.' This meeting they called, but 
did not notify Cadillac until several months after 
it had been held. The report was made without 
information from the person most relied on to 
give it. The Minister was very indignant at this 
treachery, and expressed himself plainly.^ In 1 706, 
Pontchartrain wrote to Vaudreuil that his conduct 
in favoring Arnaud, who was one of the persons 
arrested by Cadillac, was so censurable that, 
unless he showed more respect to the King's 
orders, he would lose his office.^ La Motte re- 
turned to his post in 1706. It appears that he 
was thereafter left in sole control of the fort, and, 
although annoyed more or less by new hindrances, 
was maintained honorably until his removal to 
Louisiana. In 1708, M. Aigremont was sent out 
by the King to report upon this among other 
posts ; but on the way he evidently fell into the 
hands of La Motte's enemies, and his report was 
a labored argument for the suppression of the 
fort and settlement altogether, in favor of 
Mackinaw. It was too strongly drawn to conceal 
the spirit of the writer, and, while some of his 
recommendations were approved, he was not left 
without censure.'^ He had further correspondence 
with the Marine Department, in which he lost no 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, 742. 3 9 N. Y. Doc, 777. 

2 Sheldon H., p. 154. 9 N, Y. Doc, 777. 4 9 N. Y. Doc, 827. 


Opportunity of assailing La Motte and his post. 
His last attempt appears in a letter to Count 
Pontchartrain, in November, 1710, in which he not 
only advocates making Mackinaw the controlling 
post of the country, but recommends doing so by 
the pernicious system of conges, or licenses to 
trade in the Indian country. " To render these 
licenses valuable" — he remarks — "a large num- 
ber of canoes ought to be prevented going up to 
Detroit: for being unable to trade off within its 
limits the great quantity of goods with which 
they would be loaded, in the time ordinarily em- 
ployed in bartering, those who would find their 
stock too large would not fail to go further off to 
sell them. Finally, my Lord, the value of these 
licenses will depend on the proportion of the 
number of canoes which will go up to Detroit, 
which ought to be fixed at 8 or 10 at the most."' 
The history of the colony shows that it was but 
rarely that any one in power favored the exten- 
sion of French settlements ; and the opposition to 
these derived its strength from two controlling 
elements — the missionaries and the fur traders — 
which happened to work together, though from 
different motives. Beauharnois and De la Gal- 
issonniere were the most favorable of all the later 
Governors to colonization, and both took active 
measures to forward it. But the census returns 
show a lamentable lack of people. In 1719, there 
were but 22,530 in all Canada; in 1720, 24.434; 

I 9 N. Y. Doc, 852. 


in 1721, 24,511; In 1734, 30,516. Cadillac was a 
strenuous advocate of the policy of enlarging the 
actual settlements for farming purposes, and of 
civilizing the Indians by education and discipline 
in contact with the French. And as Detroit stood 
alone to represent this policy, it is not strange 
that many misrepresentations were made in regard 
to it. But the best evidence of the Commander's 
fidelity is found in the unshaken confidence of the 
Home Government, which is found very frequently 
suggesting to the Governor and Intendant the 
duty of letting him alone, and of respecting his 

Up to his interview with Count Pontchartrain, 
in Quebec, La Motte's powers had been so ham- 
pered that the post did not make much progress, 
although remarkably successful in gathering in the 
Indians. But his requests to be allowed to en- 
courage settlements were passed by, or at all 
events not much favored. The Minister's eyes 
seem to have become opened to the state of affairs, 
and in 1705 and 1706 he was put in complete 
and sole control of the post, and granted a manor 
or seigneurie, the precise limits of which it is now 
difficult to ascertain. 

His plans, which were not all allowed, were 
shadowed forth in his correspondence of 1703. 
He then desired leave to encourage the Indians 
to live in houses and learn French customs, and 
to organize companies of Indians drilled as soldiers. 

» 9 N. Y. Doc, 777, 805. 

Cmap v.] schemes for IMPROVEMENT. 71 

He further desired to establish a seminary for 
the common instruction of French and Indian 
children, and offered to bear the expense himself 
or provide means without charge to the Crown. 
He urged that the place should be allowed to 
become a substantial settlement ; that lands should 
be granted to soldiers and settlers, and that settlers 
should be allowed to erect dwellings. He desired 
leave to send out men to explore for minerals ; 
and offered, if granted a seigneurie on the Maumee, 
to establish the raising of silk-worms and silk-" 
making, the country being full of mulberry trees 
and adapted to that industry. He showed that 
the people had already raised a surplus of supplies. 
Tnis was during the time when he complained, 
with justice, that his plans had been interfered 
with under such powers as he actually possessed.' 

When he was relieved from the obstruction of 
others at Detroit, he was not allowed all the 
privileges he desired, but was, nevertheless, in a 
better condition, although exposed to interference 
from below. He at once began to provide for 
the increase of the settlement. He made two 
grants of land, within the present limits of Detroit, 
(though not included until within a few years,) 
and as the first land grants in Michigan, and the 
only manorial grants ever recognized as valid in 
the State, they deserve mention. The only other 
manor granted in Michigan was conceded to the 
Chevalier de Repentigny, about half a century 

» Letter of 1703, Sheldon's H., 107. 

72 FEUDAL GRANTS. [Chap. V. 

thereafter, and lost to his heirs as escheated, under 
a decision of the United States Supreme Court. 
Whether La Motte Cadillac made further grants 
is not known. In the interval between the date 
of these and his departure for Louisiana, he was 
constantly harassed by the colonial authorities, 
and may not have found occasion to extend his 

A somewhat imperfect translation of one ot 
these concessions is found in the Land Records 
of Michigan.' It is dated March lo, 1707, and 
made to Frangois Fafard, dit Delorme. The land 
was two arpents (or about 400 feet) in width by 
twenty in depth.^ 

The grantee had the privilege of trading, fish- 
ing and hunting, except as to hares, rabbits, part- 
ridges and pheasants. He was to pay annually 
at the castle and principal manor, on the 20th of 
March, five livres for seigneurial dues, and ten 
livres for other privileges, payable in peltries until 
a currency was established in the colony, and 
thereafter in money. (The livres mentioned in 
these and in legal documents generally were livres 
parisis of 25 sols each, or a franc and a quarter.) 
The ten livres annually appear from subsequent 
provisions, and from other documents, to have 
been for the right to trade, and to have been 

1 Am. State Papers, i Public Lands, 250. 

2 In the early surveys, eighty arpents were made to measure three miles, 
which gave 198 American feet to the arpent. The precise measure would 
have been a little less. 



personal and not divisible among sub-grantees. 
The other conditions were that he should com- 
mence improving within three months ; that he 
should plant or help plant a long maypole an- 
nually before the door of the principal manor, 
and grind his grain at the moulin baital or public 
mill, giving toll at eight pounds for each minot\ 
that he should not sell or hypothecate his land 
without consent, and that it should be subject to 
the grantor's pre-emption in case of sale, as well 
as to the dues of alienation, and subject to the 
use of timber for vessels and fortifications. The 
grantee could not work as blacksmith, armorer, 
cutler or brewer, without a special permit. (This 
was evidently to prevent unauthorized dealing 
with the Indians in weapons or ale.) He was 
given full liberty of trading and importing goods, 
but allowed to employ no clerks or agents who 
were not domiciliated at Detroit. The sale of 
brandy to the Indians was prohibited on pain of 
forfeiture of the liquor in his possession and con- 
fiscation of his land. On a sale of a part of the 
land, the annual dues were proportioned, except 
the ten livres for trading, which every individual 
was to pay in full for the privilege. 

This grant did not require the grantee (as 
was afterwards required) to dwell upon his con- 
cession. It appears that for many years the 
settlers all dwelt within the gates of the town, or 
immediately without.' 

I La ForSt's memoir, 9 N. Y. Doc, 867. 

74 MILLS. fCMAP. V. 

When he returned from the east, or very soon 
thereafter, La Motte brought two canoe-loads,' or 
eight tons, of French wheat, and also a variety of 
other grain for seed. Up to that time the only 
orrain used was Indian corn, and the Hurons and 
Ottawas, who were expert farmers, raised it in 
great abundance, with beans, pumpkins and 
squashes. He also brought machinery for a large 
mill. Whether this was a wind or water-mill is 
not stated. It has been assumed that it was a 
wind-mill. This is probably an error. There was 
formerly a water-mill on the Savoyard River, 
which was within the domain and ran between 
the town and the later fort, which was built on 
the second terrace. Other water-mills existed 
within short distances of the fort, and the wind- 
mills which were quite numerous were too small 
to serve the ends of a moulin banal. The only 
reason for supposing this to have been a wind- 
mill was ignorance of the fact that there were 
streams used for water-mills. Those streams have 
now disappeared, but this has happened within 
living memory. It appears from the settlement of 
La Motte's proprietary rights in 1722, that he had 
been liberal in allowing trading licenses, for which 
the charge was put uniformly at ten livres, when 
the monopoly was really his own, and under the 

I Two canoe-loads was the amount of goods originally allowed by 
each cong6 or trading license, and the canoes used in the long traverses 
were larger than the modern ones, being five and a half fathoms long by 
one fathom wide. The upper lake bark canoes that visited Detroit 
would sometimes contain twenty or thirty persons. 


narrow policy introduced by one of his successors 
was resumed, and all trading right taken away 
from the people, except in their farm products/ 

There is abundant evidence that the settlement 
prospered under Cadillac's liberal management. 
M. de Clerambaut d'Aigremont, a deputy of the 
Intendant, was ordered, in June, 1707, by the 
King, to visit Detroit and report upon its man- 
agement and advantages. Reference is made to 
his report in a former part of this chapter. His 
'commission states the mutual recriminations of 
Cadillac and Vaudreuil and Raudot, the Governor 
and Intendant." On the same day Vaudreuil re- 
ceived strict orders not to interfere with Detroit. 
D'Aigremont's instructions were apparently meant 
to be somewhat confidential. It appears from them 
incidentally that La Motte desired to obtain leave 
from the King to procure some of the ladies of 
the hospital at Montreal, who were willing to do 
so, to come out and look after the sick, and aid 
in teaching various industries; and the delegate 
was instructed to help him in this. Whether he 
did so does not appear. But D'Aigremont's re- 
port, which was made in the interest of La Motte's 
enemies, did not affect his credit, beyond raising 
some question as to his desire for personal emol- 
ument, in which, however, he does not appear to 
have been specially noteworthy. With large 
landed rights and continued public employment, 
he left no such estate as justified such suspicions ; 

I 3 Wisconsin Hist. Doc. 167. a 9 N. Y. Doc, 805. 


and his measures, as far as they are recorded, 
were liberal. 

In 1 709, die fort and settlement were left en- 
tirely to his care, and to be maintained at his own 
expense, as to garrison as well as civil expenses.' 

The project of La Motte Cadillac to enrol and 
discipline Indians was not authorized. And his 
short stay prevented the completion of his plans 
to promote their civilization. The great proficiency 
of some of these people in agriculture, and their 
disposition to emulate the customs of their French 
neighbors, give strong evidence against the heart- 
less theories which have led to demoralizing and 
destroying them. No man understood them better 
than Cadillac, and the opposition to his views 
came from motives which cannot be approved. 

In 1 710, La Motte Cadillac left for Louisiana, 
of which he was made Governor.^ 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, 827. 3 Wis. Col., 167. 

2 9 N. Y. Doc, 857. 



It is readily seen that up to the settlement of 
Detroit by La Motte Cadillac, there was nothing 
out of which any political future could grow. 
The posts, although important for military pur- 
poses, had no other significance. Except Detroit, 
no other establishment in Michigan was allowed 
to form a nucleus of setdement. And during La 
Motte's residence the hostile position of the Eng- 
lish, who employed all possible means to stir up 
the Indians against it, made its posidon uneasy 
and dangerous. His great personal influence over 
the savages prevented fatal mischief, and his small 
beginnings were not without some degree of 

The Erench system was not designed or cal- 
culated to build up self-governing communities, 
and theoredcally, and in many cases practically, 
there was absolutism. But the Royal prerogadves 
were never delegated to the colonial authorises 
except in a very qualified way, and although there 
were great frauds and abuses, there was on the 
whole a respect for law. The Erench colonists 


had a good reputation as not usually litigious ; 
but they were tenacious of their legal rights as 
far as they went. ' The forms of law were kept 
up to an extent that would have appeared almost 
ludicrous, but for the real service It rendered in 
reminding all of the supremacy of justice over 
great as well as small. The colonists were in no 
sense abject or slavish. Very few people exhib- 
ited higher spirit or more personal Independence. 
In this they were in no way behind any of the 
American settlers. 

The powers of La Motte Cadillac, when left 
invested with the control of Detroit, could not 
have been less than those belonging to the high- 
er feudal lordships of France. He asserted 
plenary power of justice, uncontradicted, before 
he was granted the selgneurle. But It was not 
necessary to establish tribunals of any kind, so 
long as the settlers were confined to the fort, and 
necessarily subject to the commanding officer's 
governance. There was usually in every post 
which was proprietary, and not purely military, 
that indispensable official in a French setdement, 
a Public Notary. Every public as well as private 
transaction was made in his presence as a solemn 
witness and recorder. The French commanders 
exploring new regions made public proclamation 
with great ceremony, placed tablets or other 
memorials on trees or other convenient places, and 
caused a proces vei^bal to be drawn up and signed 
by all persons of note who were present, and 


attested by a notary. Where such an officer was 
not at hand, his place was suppHed by competent 
attesting witnesses. La Salle took with him on 
his expedition his own notary from Fort Fron- 
tenac, to secure the formality of his proclamations. 
The French authorities expressed surprise as well 
as resentment on discovering that the Iroquois 
tore down and carried off their documents of pos- 
session, which they had posted on trees in the 
woods. When Celoron made his claims on the 
Ohio, he buried metallic plates properly described 
in his p7^oces verbaux, and they remained until 
quite recently unearthed. These documents for 
public purposes were very like a modern marine 
protest, which is a narrative of the voyage and 
incidents which have given occasion for preserving 
a record of facts that may become important. 

The absence of any evidence that Detroit had 
such an officer in La Motte's time, shows that 
affairs were rudimentary. His grants, which were 
drawn with all the skill and formality which would 
result from long use of the Parfait Notaire, bear 
no signature but his own, and that of his secretary 
Grandmesnil, by whom they were transmitted for 
collation to the Royal Notary of Quebec. It is 
questionable whether the fort and domain lands 
were ever granted, except upon lease, until long 

In the absence of full evidence, we can only 
conjecture what was the legal condition of affairs 
after his departure. There can be no question 


but that he retained important proprietary^ rights 
until May 19th, 1722, when his feudal rights were 
surrendered or modified ; as the King Immediately 
thereafter authorized lands to be granted by the 
Governor General and Intendant. The estate 
which he intended for his own use was reserved, 
whatever it may have been, and his rights admitted 
by the Crown. None of his privileges seem to 
have been given up except the exclusive right of 
trade, which was annexed to the office of the 
Commandant, who received it as an equivalent for 
his expense In maintaining the post' Letters from 
Detroit, after his departure, Indicate that he had 
probably farmed out his rights to some one, 
supposed to be the younger De Tonty. After his 
death his family sold his Detroit estates to one 
Bernard Malchen, who never paid but half the 
purchase price. His grand-daughter and heiress, 
Madame Gregoire, who obtained from Massachu- 
setts, in 1782, the remnant of his barony of 
Bouaquat and Mont Desert, was foiled In her 
attempts to recover the property In Detroit. 
Whether it was ever secured by Malchen or his 
grantees is not known. That title was probably 
not produced before the land Commissioners, as 
no grants from Cadillac were established except 
those made by him personally. 

Upon La Motte's departure, De la Foret was 
appointed his successor. This gentleman was a 

I Royal Letter to Vaudreuil and Bigot, of June i8, 1722. — 3 IVis. Hisi, 
Col., 167. 


man of note, having been La Salle's lieutenant 
and deputy at Fort Frontenac, and afterwards, 
and at this time, interested with the Chevalier 
Henry de Tonty in the proprietorship of Fort St. 
Louis, where Sieur Desliettes or De Liette was 
stationed. La Foret was detained by private affairs 
in Quebec until some time in 171 2. The Sieur 
Dubuisson was ordered to take temporary com- 
mand, and arrived in 1710. He had a very small 
force, there being but thirty Frenchmen in the 
fort. In May, 171 2, at the instigation of the 
Indians in the English interest, a desperate attempt 
was made to destroy the fort. Two villages of 
Mascoutins and Outagamies had been established 
and fortified within pistol-shot of the French fort. 
These people determined to annihilate the post, 
and two large bands arrived in the early spring 
to help them. Dubuisson had timely warning, 
and took measures to send word to the western 
nations, and to draw within the fort his grain and 
supplies, which were stored outside in a store- 
house near the church. He then destroyed these 
buildings and several houses which would have 
endangered the fort if set on tire. He dissembled 
with the enemy, knowing that if he was supposed 
to have suspected their plans he would be attack- 
ed at once. He accordingly gave them to under- 
stand he expected an assault from the Miamis, 
and was repairing his defences. The savages were 
very insolent, and committed depredations on the 
property of the French outside of the fort, which 


he did not venture to resent. It was necessary 
to sow grain and pasture the cattle, and it was an 
object to postpone the difficulty. On the 13th of 
May, M. De Vincennes arrived with seven or 
eight Frenchmen, but no news of the Indian allies. 
Suddenly a Huron came into the fort (to their 
surprise, as the Huron village had been deserted 
by all but seven or eight men) and informed the 
French that the Potawatamie war chief and three 
others were in the Huron fort and desired to 
counsel with them. Vincennes went over to meet 
them, and was told that six hundred men would 
soon arrive to help the garrison. The commander, 
desirous of sparing life if possible, wished to con- 
tent himself when his friends should come with 
driving away his troublesome neighbors. But the 
Hurons would listen to nothing but a war of ex- 
termination. Dubuisson at once closed the fort 
and prepared for the expected attack, and the 
chaplain performed religious services, and got 
ready to aid the wounded. At this time Dubuis- 
son was informed that many people were in sight. 
He says : " I immediately ascended a bastion, 
and casting my eyes towards the woods, I saw 
the army of the nations of the south issuing from 
it. They were the Illinois, the Missouris, the 
Osages, and other nations yet more remote. 
There were also with them the Ottawa Chief 
Saguina, and also the Potawatamies, the Sacs, 
and some Menominies. Detroit never saw such 
a collection of people. It is surprising how much 



all these nations are irritated against the Mascou- 
tins and the Outagamies. The army marched in 
good order, with as many flags as there were 
different nations, and it proceeded directly to the 
fort of the Hurons."' 

The Hurons said they should not encamp, but 
enter the fort and fight for the French. The 
war began at once. The enemy were besieged 
nineteen days, by a large force of the allies, and 
the French fort at the same time was in great 
danorer from the burnincr missiles which came in 
hundreds and fired the thatched roofs. These 
were torn off as fast as possible, and replaced 
with bear and deer skins, and two large pirogues 
were filled with water, and swabs fixed on long- 
poles to put out any fire as it started. There 
were times when the hidians within the French 
fort became discouraged, but the brave comman- 
der cheered them up. The besieged enemy was 
cut off from water and food, and lost many killed. 
The savage besiegers would not allow them to 
capitulate. At midnight of a dark rainy night 
they decamped and escaped to Windmill Point, at 
the entrance of Lake St. Clair, eight miles dis- 
tant, and threw up entrenchments. In the morn- 
ing their escape was discovered, and the allies 
went in Dursuit. In their eagerness tlie assailants 

J. o 

did not perceive the defences, and at first lost 
many men. They were compelled to fortify, and 
begin a new siege. The besiegers were supplied 

I Dubuisson's Narrative, p. 9. 


abundantly with provisions, and had two cannon. 
After four days the besieged surrendered, and all 
but the women and children were slain. The 
loss of the French and allies was sixty Indians 
killed and wounded, and six or seven French 
wounded. The enemy lost a thousand. 

The results were very beneficial to Detroit. 
The Commander received great credit, as did 
also Vincennes, who thereby escaped from the 
consequences of some previous disobedience of 

De la Foret arrived soon after the siege, and 
remained till 171 7, when he was succeeded by 
the younger Tonty, who was also an able officer 
but avaricious and unscrupulous in trade matters, 
having been implicated in the frauds of 1703 and 
1 704, and brought into disgrace with the King.' 

De la Foret, in 1714, wrote a memorial upon 
the subject of maintaining the fort, in which he 
urged its importance as necessary for the defence 
of the country and the supply of provisions. He 
nevertheless desired to have the settlement 
stopped, and the whole converted into a military 
trading post, giving the commander an exclusive 
monopoly, and stopping the sale of trading licen- 
ses to the settlers, as originated by La Motte, 
which he there asserts is in conflict with the 
commandant's rights. In this view he insists the 
settlers must leave the fort, and represents that 

I 9 N. Y. Doc, 808. 


they cannot improve their lands by reason of 
exposure to the savages/ He, however, submits 
this to His Majesty's pleasure. In any event he 
desires to maintain a small' garrison of troops. 

In 1 71 6, Vaudreuil made an effort to restore 
the brandy trade among the Indians, applying to 
the Regent Duke of Orleans, and representing 
that it could be done in such a way as to prevent 
excesses. In the same letter he urges a renewal 
of the sale of licenses for roving traders among 
the Indians, which had been so troublesome before.^ 

Whether from respect to La Motte's rights, 
or for some other cause, no change seems to 
have been made in the management of affairs at 
Detroit. While there are no records of land 
sales, it is apparent the inhabitants were increas- 
ing ; and they probably held by some tenancy 
less than freehold, or were allowed to possess 
vacant lands by the Commandant. 

The memoir of 1718 on Indian affairs contains 
a very complete and graphic description of the 
whole Lake Region, and devotes considerable 
space to the Indian villages about the fort at 
Detroit, and their customs and industries. The 
Potawatamies, Hurons and Ottawas are represented 
as raising abundant crops of corn, beans, peas, 
squashes and melons, and some wheat. The 
Hurons are remarked as more sedate than the 
rest, and as the bravest and most intelligent of 

I 9 N. Y. Doc, 868. a 9 N. Y. Doc, 870. 


all the nations. The timber trees and natural 
fruits and nuts of the Detroit region are spoken 
of in glowing terms. No reference is made to 
the French. 

During this period the post at Mackinaw 
assumed great importance, but it had no settled 
population except in connection with the fur trade. 

In 1 721, Charlevoix visited Detroit, and re- 
mained several days. He speaks in high terms 
of Tonty, who was then in command, and of the 
character of the land and its products. During 
his visit a council was held with the Indians to 
suppress the liquor traffic, and to prepare to 
fight the Outagamies, who had not lost their old 
hostility. He refers to the attempts which had 
been made to depreciate the importance of the 
post and shows the falsehood of the statements 
concerning the lands. Incidentally it would appear 
that there was considerable cultivated land, as 
he speaks of the same land bearing wheat for 
many years without manuring, as evidence of the 
fertility of the soil, and the wheat culture was 
mostly in the hands of the French. He refers to 
the Hurons as raising provisions for sale in large 
quantities, and as sharp traders. 

It appears from Dubuisson's report of the 
siege, that there were cattle enough to be of im- 
portance to the settlement, in 171 2. 

In 1720, the English proposed to send horses 
to Niagara for transportation, and to make a 


settlement there/ Pack-horses are not often re- 
ferred to by travellers as early as this, and there 
is little information about them. In 1719, there 
were in all Canada 4,024 horses and 18,241 
horned cattle. In 1720, there were 5,270 horses, 
and 24,866 horned cattle. Mrs. Grant, of Laes'an, 
says that in 1761 there were no horses and onh' 
one cow at Oswego.^ 

In 1722, the rights of La Motte Cadillac hav- 
ing been adjusted, the traffic was ordered to be 
granted to the Commandant during his tenure of 
command and no longer, and he was to claim no 
title to the land at the post, and grant no con- 
cessions.3 The Governor and Intendant were to 
grant these concessions in the name of His 
Majesty, with no trade privileges beyond the dis- 
posal of farm products. The grants were not to 
exceed four arpents wide by forty deep, and to 
be made in consecutive order. The Commandant 
was required to obtain building concessions as 
well as other persons, and to get no other trade 
rights beyond his continuance in command. But 
he was to have the use without title of ground 
for garden and stables. 

No attention was paid to this decree by 
Vaudreuil, or his successor, the first Longueuil. 
And in 1726, Tonty made an exclusive grant of 
the right of traffic to four associates. La Marque, 

I 9 N. Y. Doc, 1037. 2 Memoirs ot an American Lady. 

3 Royal decree. 3 Wis. H. Doc, 167, 168. 


Chiery, Nolan and Gatineau, who at once enforced 
their claims without mercy. The inhabitants sent 
a vigorous remonstrance against it to the Intend- 
ant, signed by the ancestors of several of the 
present French families of Detroit, Chesne, 
Campau, De Marsac, Bineau, Reaume, Picard, 
Roubidou, La Devoute and De Gaudefroy, and 
with the marks of others. The company wrote to 
the Intendant, urging that the people ought to 
devote their time to farming and not to trading ; 
but as the Governor and Intendant had granted 
no lands, this was not ingenious. Tonty wrote 
a very insolent letter calling them gens sans 
aveu, or vagrants, and making some excuses 
which were evasive and sophistical, but mainly 
resting on his rights to do as he pleased.' 

What action was taken does not appear ; but 
in that same year the Marquis of Beauharnois 
became Governor, and in 1728 Hocquart was made 
Intendant, and a new era soon opened on the 
colony. They were sensible and patriotic, and 
understood the value of people, while they were 
not tainted with the fraud and greed of some 
of their predecessors. Tonty was relieved, 
and command given Boishebert, who seems, while 
at Detroit and after he left, to have been a true 
friend to the inhabitants. In 1728, at some 
unknown prompting, the King suggested farming 
out the post at Detroit, but the views of Beau- 
harnois prevailed and it was not done."" 

I 3 Wis. His. Doc, 169 to 178. « 9 N. Y. Doc, 1004. 


It is not entirely certain whether the earliest 
grant of lands by Beauharnois and Hocquart was 
in 1730 or 1734. In 1732, Beauharnois, who had 
failed in his efforts to have two vessels placed on 
Lake Erie,' wrote thus concerning Detroit, to 
Count Maurepas : 

" Sieur de Boishebert's occupations regarding 
the proceedings of the Hurons and Iroquois 
against the Foxes, will not have permitted him, 
I believe, sending you the draughts he was to 
make of Lakes Ste. Claire and Huron. I have not 
failed to recommend to that officer, as I had done 
to his predecessors, to give all their attention to 
the establishment of Detroit, and to the general 
welfare of that post. But although they do not 
appear to me to be wanting in attention in these 
two particulars, it is impossible for that establish- 
ment to become considerable, so long as a suffi- 
cient number of troops are not sent thither, to 
whom lands would be granted for the purpose of 
improvement, by which course farmers would 
eventually be introduced. If, on the other hand, 
it be His Majesty's intention to send thither a 
hundred faussonniers^ with their families, to whom 
some advances would be made in the first in- 
stance, this post would become considerable in a 
short time, and by its strength keep all the na- 
tions of the Upper Country in check. But as 
these projects can not be executed until approved 
by His Majesty, I shall continue to recommend 

» 9 N. Y. Doc, 1014. 2 Faux-saulniers, or salt-smugglers. 

90 CAMPAU'S MILL. [Chap. VL 

the officers in command of that post to induce as 
much as possible the setders to cultivate the soil, 
and to maintain good order there. This, my 
Lord, is all that their diligence can accomplish.'" 

This would indicate that no new grants had 
then been made. And in October, 1734, he 
wrote that there were but 750 soldiers in the 
entire colony." 

While Boishebert was in command, he author- 
ized a water mill to be built by Charles Campau, 
on a stream which has now disappeared, but which 
was known in 1742 as Campau's Mill River, in 
later days as Cabacier's Creek, and lastly as 
May's Creek, from the adjoining residence of 
Judge May. The mill stood nearly where the 
Michigan Central Railroad crosses Fort street, in 
the city of Detroit, and the stream was in the 
basin now occupied by the railroad. In 1753, 
Cabacier complained that his land was overflowed, 
but it was made to appear that the mill antedated 
his concession nearly twenty years, and the 
Governor General confirmed Campau's rights. ^ 
It is mendoned in the petition of the inhabitants 
as the only mill convenient to the fort, and^ as 
running most of the year. From this it would 
seem that the moiilin banal had ceased to exist, 
or was distant from the settlement at the fort.^ 

In 1734, concessions were made to several 

1 9 N. Y. Doc, 1036. 3 I Am. St. P., 253. 

2 9 N. Y. Doc, 1040. 4 I Am. St. P., 251. 


Inhabitants, of tracts of various widths from two 
to four arpents, and forty arpents deep. These 
were made by the Governor and Intendant, under 
the decree of 1722 before referred to. Similar 
grants were made at intervals until after 1750. 
These concessions were upon conditions, (i) of 
suit to the iiio2ilin banal when established, (2) 
settlement and habitation [y tenir' fen et lien) 
within a year ; (3) keeping up fences, and cultiva- 
tion, and allowance of roads ; (4) annual dues of 
I sol per arpent front, and 20 sols for each 20 
arpents of surface, and one busheP of wheat for 
the four arpents front. These dues were payable 
at Martinmas, (nth November,) the money dues 
being receivable in peltries till currency should be 
established. (5) Customary lods et ventes accord- 
ing to the eouhtme de Paris, and other feudal 
rights ; (6) rights reserved In mines, minerals, and 
timber for public purposes ; (7). procuring immediate 
survey, and Royal patent within two years. All 
these on pain of forfeiture.^ 

It appears that at this time Hugues Pean was 
in command, and active In procuring these prl- 

1 Although the word minot used in these conveyances is said by Dr. 
O'Callaghan to be a larger measure, yet, like other standards of measure 
and value, it was not uniform. At Detroit, among the French inhabitants, 
the word minot always meant a bushel, and the word pinte a quart, and 
chopine a pint. The writers have used these words in many ways. Mr. 
Weld says the minot was to the Winchester bushel as loo to 108.765. — 
WehVs Travels, 216. 

2 All these grants were afterwards classed as " Terres e/i Roturey 
Ferriere says these were not feudal tenures, and were subject to only two 
principal burdens, viz : the annual cens or dues, and the lods et ventes or 
fines of alienation due to the seigneur censier by the purchaser on sale or 
exchange. — Ferfiere^s Law Die, " Rotiire^ 

92 LAND GRANTS. [Chap. VI. 

vileges. This officer was a man of distinction 
and hereditary Town Major of Quebec. His re- 
lations with a subsequent Intendant, Bigot, were 
pecuHar and disgraceful. Both of them on their 
return to France, after the surrender of 1760, 
were tried and convicted of official misdemeanors, 
but whether any of them related to conduct here 
is not knoWn. Pean was fined six hundred 
thousand livres, or Ji 25,000.' Bigot was merely 
banished from the court to his estates. 

From this time on for several years the annals 
are silent, and the people may therefore be pre- 
sumed to have prospered. 

Only six of these concessions were ever sent 
to Paris for confirmation; and this fact left the 
titles at Detroit clear of some difficulties when 
the United States began to deal with them. 

Anticipating somewhat the course of events, 
the only other land grants made by the French 
in Michigan were confined to the seigneurie 
granted to the Chevalier de Repentigny at the 
Sault de Ste. Marie, in 1750 and 1751, of six 
leagues square. He took possession and began 
the settlement to the satisfaction of the French 
Government, who had found it necessary to 
check the advances of the English among the 
northern tribes. When Carver passed through, 
in 1767, he found the possession kept up by a 
person who had been in Repentigny's employ, 

I 10 N. Y. Doc , 1 126. 

Chap. VI.] REPENTIGNY. * 93 

and left in charge, but who then claimed to own 
it himself. Repentigny was a very distinguished 
officer and reached high rank in the French 
army, having been made Marquis and General. 
This claim was presented to the United States 
authorities in 1825, but not allowed by the com- 
missioners, as the act of Congress was not broad 
enough to cover it. It w^as afterwards brought 
before the Supreme Court of the United States,' 
where it was decided that the action of Congress 
previously had cut it off. The judgment was one 
which took rather narrower views of these con- 
cessions than seem to have been taken by the 
French or British authorities, and held that the 
act of Congress under which the claim was pre- 
sented for adjudication was not intended to waive 
any question in the United States Courts, if the 
claim was technically cut off when the United States 
acquired the country. 

The successive Commandants at Detroit appear 
to have had no serious difficulties with the inhab- 
itants, and the people apparently continued in the 
privileges of which Tonty had sought to deprive 
them. Licenses seem to have been sold to such 
as desired them. Among the officers commanding 
at various times, besides those already mentioned, 
were Pajot, Deschaillons de St. Ours (a very dis- 
tinguished officer), Desnoyelles, Noyan, Sabrevois, 
Celoron, Longueuil, De Muy, and Bellestre. 

I 5 Wal., 211. 


Between 1734 and 1739, it is supposed that 
M. de Sabrevois was in command, as in his time 
the conditions of land grants within the fort seem 
to have been fixed as they were afterwards 

In 1 741, Beauharnois held councils with the 
Indians belonging in the region of Mackinaw and 
the shore of Lake Michigan, and under his 
auspices they made a number of settlements, 
extending from the St. Joseph's River, at various 
points, including Muskegon, to L'Arbre Croche.^ 
The latter became an important settlement, and 
was the seat of a considerable industry, the 
Indians maintaining a very good reputation, and 
being cared for by devoted missionaries. Within 
the last thirty years the L'Arbre Croche sugar 
was always reckoned clean and reliable, and 
brought the best price of any Indian sugar in the 
Detroit market ; unless in some few instances 
where it was made equally well elsewhere by 
known families. 

During the remainder of the official term of 
Count Maurepas as Minister of the Marine, the 
most liberal policy prevailed, as Beauharnois, La 
Jonquiere, and De la Galissonniere were all dis- 
posed to serve the true interests of the colony. 
All of the Phelyppeaux were men of unsullied honor 
and integrity, and of much personal independence. 
They seem to have inspired much personal attach- 

I I Am. St. Pap., 259. 2 9 N. Y. Doc. 1072. 


ment among the western leaders. La Motte 
Cadillac named his Detroit post after ferome 
Phelyppeaux, Count Pontchartrain, and Fort Rosa- 
lie after his lady. Lakes Pontchartrain and 
Maurepas in Louisiana were named after the fath- 
er and son. Their names were not so fortunate 
in Michigan. Besides the fort at Detroit, three 
islands in Lake Superior were called after the fam- 
ily, lies Phelyppeaux or Minong, Maurepas and 
Pontchartrain. A fourth was named after the In- 
tendant Hocquart. He Phelyppeaux was laid down 
as an island larger than He Royale, lying between 
that and Keweenaw Point, and declared by Carver 
like the latter island, to have been large enough for 
a province. By the Treaty of 1783 between the 
United States and Great Britain, He Phelyppeaux 
was one of the boundary marks, the line running 
just north of it. The other three islands were 
laid down towards the eastward and northeastward. 

The Indians had a superstitious fear of 
approaching these islands, which were supposed to 
be tenanted by the Great Manitou Michabou, and 
guarded by mysterious and terrible spirits and 
serpents. Of all those named. He Royale is the 
only one now known to exist, unless Maurepas 
has been confounded with Michipicoten, which is 
not in exactly the same region, but is not ver}- 
far off, and is identified with it by Alexander 
Henry. It is hardly supposable, although that is 
a volcanic country, that any such islands can 
have disappeared in modern times, but it is not 

96 LAW OFFICERS. [Chap. VI. 

easy to account for the location and naming of 
imaginary islands, where, from the foundation of 
Du Luth's fort on the Kaministiquia River, (now 
Fort William) the French had been constant 
travellers. In these instances the statesmen whose 
names were "writ in water" have been no more 
fortunate in their monuments than others in like 
plight. But they were fortunate in having more 
than one remembrancer. 

In Mr. Schoolcraft's Journal of Gen. Cass's 
first expedition to the sources of the Mississippi 
in i8-20, he mentions these islands, and refers to 
some of the Indian superstitions concerning them. 
As He Phelyppeaux came within the legal limits 
of the State of Michigan, it must, with Toledo, be 
now reckoned among her lost empires. Its other 
name, Minong, has been attached to He Royale, 
where, perhaps, it always belonged. 

We find now, in the incidental references of 
our public records, evidences that Detroit had 
become subject to the ordinary incidents of civil 
settlements. There was probably from the begin- 
ning of the policy of land grants, a Deputy 
Intendant, and the same or some other person 
acted as notary. The elder Robert Navarre came 
to Detroit in 1730, and was constantly employed 
in public service of some kind. The King's dues 
were payable to his receiver (the Intendant) or a 
local sub-receiver, and Navarre's name is the first 
found in that capacity, while the receipts are 
endorsed on the deeds of the land-owners from 



the beginning. The jurist De Ferriere represents 
the functions of a Deputy Intendant to have been 
judicial as well as ministerial, and such was 
probably the case in Detroit. The notary, (who 
at this time generally performed all functions con- 
nected with transfers, contracts and successions,) 
had no incompatible duties, and Navarre was 
Royal Notary. In 1753, M. Landrieve was acting 
temporarily as Deputy Intendant, Navarre being 
then probably absent on other duty, as he had a 
great influence with the Indians. In 1760, we 
find Navarre and Baptiste Campau both acting 
together as notaries, the latter performing, appar- 
ently the duties of Tabellion or notarial clerk and 
registrar. It is not likely the judicial duties were 
very heavy, but the receipts for the King were 
considerable, both in money and wheat, and the 
sub-Intendant was curator of the public property 
not strictly military. We find at this period that 
the Commandant made grants of lands within the 
fort, and possibly in the precinct or domain 
adjoining. M. de Bellestre declared in a subse- 
quent inquiry that this was his absolute right, the 
rents, however, belonging to the Crown.' In 
some cases a ratification was required from the 
Governor General, as indicated by the Decree of 
1722. Such cases are found recorded in 1754-5, 
on grants from M. de Muy confirmed by Du 
Quesne.^ In 1741, such a grant is made by De 

I Wayne Record, B., p. 128. 2 Id., A., p. i. 



Noyan to Navarre, without confirmation.' The 
terms of tenure were two sols per' foot front, not 
redeemable, but payable in cash, and the main- 
tenance of the fortifications in proportion to 
such front." This was one pile or picket, var- 
iously stated from fifteen feet upward in length, 
for each foot front of the lot. In 1 745, a sale 
is recorded of a house within the fort, and of 
*' forty fort pickets, which are all of cedar, appur- 
tenant to the said house. "^ This obligation to 
supply pickets was afterwards a source of con- 
tention, and the duty was disputed. But the 
deeds are explicit. In addition to the annual 
dues, and to taxes, there were fines of alienation. 
On what basis these were settled does not appear, 
but it was probably according to the Coutume de 
Paris. In 1 760, upon a purchase by De Belles- 
tre, the fines on a purchase of 12,000 livres were 
666 livres, 13 sols, or more than five per cent."^ 

Even while no war was existing between 
France and England, the British agents (claiming 
ostensibly under the Iroquois grant, which was 
much more shadowy than the French claims 
which they professed to regard as theoretical,) 
kept up with their Indian allies a continued series 
of attempts to reach the western trade, and get 

» Wayne Record, A., p. 29. 

2 Id., A., p. r, 17. 

3 "Quarante pieux de fort, que sent tous de cedre, dependants de la 
dite maison." — A., p. 17. 

4 Wayne Record, B., 128. 


control of the country. The Hurons, who had 
been deadly enemies of the Iroquois and all their 
friends, and who had stood fast by the French, 
were approached by these tempters, and by 
degrees led away from their fidelity. Their posi- 
tion was such as to make this very dangerous. 

When Charlevoix was in Detroit he mentioned 
that it was desired to establish a Huron mission, 
which was not then determined on. In 1742, this 
was setded on Bois-blanc Island, on the Canada 
side of the mouth of Detroit River, commanding- 
the main channel. Father Potier had charge, and 
the village was very extensive, regularly laid out, 
and containing several hundred people. It was 
then of several years' standing. It is likely it 
had been removed thither from Detroit, and 
Father de la Richardie is said to have at one 
time been a missionary in the tribe. For a per- 
iod of some years these intrigues went on, and 
the Commander at Detroit was diligent in oppos- 
ing them. Hearing that the English had designs 
on White River and the Wabash country, Celoron, 
a former Commandant of Detroit, in i 743, allowed 
men and supplies to go from Detroit to open a 
trade at White River with a body of Senecas, 
Onondagas and others of the Five Nations, who 
had settled there to the number of about 600, and 
who professed friendship. Robert Navarre was 
sent out to examine and report on the prospects.. 
Beauharnois and Hocquart directed M. de Lon- 
gueuil, then in command at Detroit, to send out 


goods and supplies on die King's account, and 
expressed themselves as desirous, since the settle- 
ment could not be broken up, of getdng it, if 
possible, to be friendly. But there was evidently 
suspicion of mischief.' 

In 1 744, the hostilities existing made it neces- 
sary to make preparations, and Longueuil suc- 
ceeded in securing the adhesion of the nations 
near Detroit, and sent out Indian forces to prevent 
the English traders from reaching White River, 
as well as to guard the approaches to the Ohio. 
Celoron and Joncaire were able for a time to 
ensure the neutrality of several of the New York 
bands of Senecas and others.^ 

But the disturbed condition of the country 
operated injuriously on Detroit. In 1745, com- 
plaint was made by Beauharnois, in his letters to 
France, that the licenses to trade at Detroit and 
Mackinaw could hardly be given away, although 
those places were not well supplied ; and he 
expressed misgivings as to the conduct of the 
Indians when trade should fall off.^ About the 
same time the country was troubled by deserters 
and renegades from Louisiana, who found their 
way up to Detroit and its vicinity. The Chevalier 
de Longueuil, who was at this time decorated 
with the Cross of St. Louis for his services, was 
very active and energetic, and did much to 
keep the country quiet. But some of the Detroit 
Indians held back.^ 

I 9 N. Y. Doc, 1099. 3 10 N. Y. Uoc , 21. 

a 9 N. Y- Doc, nil, II 12. 4 10 N. Y. Doc, 34, 37, 38. 


The supply of provisions from the lands about 
Detroit began to fail, and for a while there was 
danger of suffering on this account. The Hurons 
became mutinous, and it was evident they had 
been effectually tampered with.' In 1 747, Father 
Potier was obliged to leave Bois-blanc and go up 
to Detroit. They committed outrages in various 
places, killing several Frenchmen at Sandusky. 
They had also planned a massacre of the people 
in the fort at Detroit, which was overheard by a 
squaw, by whom it was revealed to a Jesuit lay- 
brother, who informed Longueuil. The rising was 
general, and manifestations were made in all parts 
of Michigan and the Northwest. Longueuil 
succeeded in persuading a deputation of several 
tribes to go with Bellestre to Quebec to confer 
with the Governor. Among these were the great 
chiefs Sastaretsi and Taychatin. After his 
departure the Hurons held a council, in which 
they desired Father de la Richardie to be sent up. 
Arrangements were made that he should accom- 
pany Bellestre to Detroit. Unfortunately, both 
the chiefs died before these gentlemen started.^ 

The year 1747 was one of constant trouble 
about Detroit. The Indians who had agreed to 
attack the Huron village at Bois-blanc, when the 
troubles broke out, refused to do so. Longueuil, 
however, had succeeded in getting the upper hand 
of the Miamis and others to the southward, and 
they sent to sue for peace. Three of the treach- 

I 10 N. Y. Doc, 38, 83, 114, 115, 119. 2 Id., 123, 124. 

102 Indian outrages. [Chaf. Vi. 

erous Huron chiefs, Nicolas, Orotoni and Anioton, 
who had been most deeply implicated, came also 
for the same purpose. While these were at 
Detroit, news came that a party had waylaid three 
Frenchmen at Grosse He, and attempted to 
murder them. The Frenchmen themselves soon 
appeared, wounded, but not fatally. Longueuil 
immediately sent a force of thirty men after the 
marauders. The deputies, fearing for themselves, 
informed the Commander that the criminals were 
concealed at Bois-blanc, and volunteered to arrest 
them. Longueuil accepted their offer, and gave 
them ten more men to accompany them. They 
overtook the first detachment, and brought back 
the five Indians to the fort. They turned out to 
be one Onondaga, as leader, one Huron, one 
Seneca, and two Mohegans. The populace killed 
the leader as soon as he landed. The rest were 
confined in the fort in irons. This event created 
great excitement among the Ohio Indians, but 
Longueuil pacified them, insisting however, on 
retaining the prisoners, and giving the nations to 
understand the fate of these depended on the 
conduct of the tribes. On the morning of the 
29th of December, 1747, the Seneca was found 
dead, it being doubtful whether he killed himself 
or was killed by the Huron, who was to kill him- 
self also. It turned out they had all nearly 
succeeded in escaping, as they had loosened 
their irons and prepared to kill the guard. 

Afterwards, in February, 1748, Longueuil re- 

Chap. VI.] HURON MISSION. ] 08 

leased the three survivors, upon the request of 
formal deputations of northern and southern 
tribes, and upon very fair promises. He did this 
against the wishes and protests of the French at 
Detroit, and was censured by the Governor Gen- 
eral. But the event proved fortunate, as the In- 
dians sought eagerly to show their sincerity by 
taking the war-path ; and he had no further serious 
trouble with them, although there were some abor- 
tive attempts made here and there to do mischief.' 
In April, 1748, Galissonniere reports prospects of 
future tranquility.^ 

In 1748, it was questioned whether it might 
not be well to remove the fort to Bois-blanc ; 
but it was not thought best to do so, as the In- 
dians had settled at Detroit. The Huron Mission 
was re-established,3 under strong recommendations 
from the Governor to renew it, but with great 
precautions to have it in a safe place ; and at this 
time it was accordingly removed, to the present 
town of Sandwich, opposite the western part of 
the city of Detroit. Father de la Richardie became 
attached to it, at the Governor's request. Father 
Potier also appears to have remained with it. A 
church was built of respectable dimensions, which, 
until about twenty years ago, was the place of 
worship of the Catholic population of that region. 
It was then taken down, — a commodious and spa- 

I 10 N. Y. Narratives of 1747-1748, passim. 

* 10 N. Y. Doc, 133. 

3 10 N. Y. Doc, 162, 148. 


cioLis brick church having been built in its imme- 
diate vicinity. The point at Sandwich where they 
settled is named in the Governor's report " Point 
Montreal."' This name is not retained, and has 
not been noted except in that document. 

In October, the Governor instructed Longueuil 
that, although the French and English were at 
peace, the English, if seeking to settle on the Ohio, 
White or Rock Rivers, or any of their tributaries, 
must be resisted by force.^ He expressed the 
strongest convictions of the importance of Mack- 
inaw and Detroit.^ 

In December, 1750, the late Governor, De la 
Galissonniere, who had been succeeded by De la 
Jonquiere, prepared an elaborate memoir on the 
French colonies, which is one of the most enlight- 
ened documents ever written on that subject.^ He 
pointed out the utility of colonies, and the reasons 
why the French, with less population, had obtained 
advantages over the English in dealing with the 
Indians ; which he, as well as the English officials 
in this country, attributed to the habits of the 
French inhabitants in woodcraft, and in living with 
and like the Indians. But he warned the Govern- 
ment that this was accidental, and could not always 
be relied on. 

After noting the weak points as well as 
advantages of various places, he makes special 

1 10 N. Y. Doc ,178. 3 10 N. Y. Doc , 183-4. 

2 10 N. Y Doc ,179. 4 10 N. Y, Doc, 220. 


reference to Detroit. "This last place demands 
now the greatest attention. Did it once contain 
a farming population of a thousand, it would feed 
and defend all the rest. Throughout the whole 
interior of Canada it is the best adapted for a 
town, where all the trade of the lakes would con- 
centrate; were it provided with a good o-arrison 
and surrounded by a goodly number of setde- 
ments, it would be enabled to overawe almost all 
the Indians of the Continent. It is sufficient to 
see its position on the map to understand its 
utility. It would stand on the River St. Lawrence 
within reach of the Oyo, the Illinois, the River 
Mississippi, and in a position to protect all these 
different places, and even the posts north of the 

He concludes his memoir by urging that "the 
resolution ought to be adopted to send a great 
many people to New France, in order to enable 
those who have the administration thereof, to 
work at the same time at the different proposed 
forts.. These people ought to be principally sol- 
diers, who can in a very short time be converted 
into good settlers." 

He suggests that some fmix-sauimers, and 
even a few paupers might be sent, the latter to 
be very sparingly furnished as needed. Other 
persons of doubtful character should not be sent 
unless called for. 

Many suggestions are made as to the estab- 
lishment of profitable industries. In this regard 

106 NEW SETTLERS. [Chap. VI. 

there was a great contrast between the French 
and EngHsh. The whole current of ParHamentary 
and Royal regulation was towards preventing the 
English colonies from producing anything but raw 
material. Manufactures were obstructed and 
prohibited. In New France there was constant 
encouragement to industry, and the restrictions 
were confined to the fur trade and dealings with 
the Indians. 

In 1750 and 1751, in pursuance of these views 
and of previous similar suggestions, a consider- 
able number of settlers were sent out, and 
advances were made to them by the government 
imtil they were able to take care of themselves. 
They prospered after they had become fairly 
settled. But in 1752, it appears that provisions 
were scarce, so that Indian corn reached twenty 
livres a bushel in peltries, and it was feared some 
of the Canadians would have to be sent away. 
The Hurons and other Indians on whom reliance 
had been formerly had for corn, could not, trom 
recent disturbances, have been able to furnish it ; 
and the Commandant at the Illinois would not 
permit provisions to be sent thence.' Both 
Celoron and Longueuil had been censured for 
not being more alert in furthering the Ohio expe- 
ditions, but this was perhaps the reason.^ Famine 
was not the only danger at Detroit. The small 
pox also began its ravages in the adjacent villages 
of the Ottawas and Potawatamies. 

I 10 N. V Doc, 249. * 10 N. Y. Doc, 249. 


About this time the fort and stockade at 
Detroit were considerably enlarged. In 1750, the 
Chevalier de Repentigny began his settlement, 
and built a fort at the Sault Ste. Marie. In 1754, 
reference was made by Duquesne to his progress 
in that- work, which " was essential for stopping 
all the Indians who came down from Lake 
Superior to go to Choueguen, but I do not hear 
that this post yields a great revenue."' 

In 1755, Vaudreuil, writing to France to Ma- 
chault, the Minister of the Marine, makes the fol- 
lowing reference to the settlement at Detroit: ''I 
doubt not, my Lord, but you have been informed 
of the excellence of the Detroit lands. That post 
is considerable, well peopled, but three times more 
families than it possesses could be easily located 
there. The misfortune is that we have not enouo^h 
of people in the colony. I shall make arrange- 
ments to favor the settlement of two Sisters of 
the Congregation at that post, to educate the 
children, without costing the King a penny."^ 

In 1759, Bigot, the Intendant, stated that the 
settlers of 1 750-1 had taken care of themselves 
and been selling wheat since 1754, from which 
time they had entailed no expense on the crown. ^ 

During the border war that was going on be- 
tween the French and English, in the settlements 
and regions between the Ohio and the Lakes, the 
Detroit militia appear to have taken an active 

1 10 N. Y. Doc, 263. 3 10 N. Y. Doc, 1048. 

2 10 N. Y. Doc, 376. 


part, and the number of French soldiers — apart 
from the Indians — must have been quite large/ 
Hellestre was especially active, and commanded in 
several sharp engagements. The Reports speak 
of him repeatedly with very high encomiums. The 
supplies for the operations on the Ohio, and in 
Pennsylvania and Virginia, came largely from De- 

Before hostilities broke out there was much 
crimination and recrimination between the Cana- 
dian Government and the English authorities in 
New York, the former accusing British emissaries 
with conspiring to assassinate the Commander at 
Detroit, and the latter charging similar misdeeds 
on the French/ The old dispute was also renewed 
in regard to priority of claim to Detroit, which 
had been so bitter in the early part of the century.^ 
Colden, Delancey, and Pownall, in various ways, 
urged the necessity of getting control of this re- 
gion."* Pownall referred to it at length in the 
Albany Congress of 1754, which was intended to 
unite the Ensflish colonies in a confederation for 
general defence, and the management of their 
common interests. ^ 

When the English performed the cruel deed 
of banishincr the Acadians from their homes, and 
scattering families as well as communities, with a 
cold-blooded inhumanity that no excuse can miti- 

1 10 N. Y. Doc , 425. 4 6 N. V. Doc, 990. 

2 6 N. V. Doc, 105, 107, 489, 493, 579. 5 6 N. Y. Doc, 893. 

3 6 N. Y. Doc, 743, 773, 731. 

Chap VI. 


gate, some of the untortunate victims found a 
refuge in Detroit, as well as in other French set- 
tlements. The beautiful story of Evangeline is a 
sad but not exaofcrerated tale of these atrocities. 

As the war on the lower St. Lawrence drew 
towards its close, Bellestre was chosen to take 
charge of the post of Detroit,' and to gather in 
all the western forces to preserve it at all events. 
He had been in command there for some years, 
but was too valuable a man to leave unemployed; 
and so long as there was any service to be done 
elsewhere he was given large powers. Vaudreuil, 
in June, 1760, wrote to the French Minister 
Berryer : " M, de Bellestre is preparing to receive 
the English, who I think are not going to Detroit ; 
it may cost them very dear, because all the na- 
tions are disposed to join the French."^ 

But, on the 8th of September, 1 760, the whole 
Province was surrendered. In November, 1760, 
Major Robert Rogers, with a force consisting of 
part of the 60th (Royal Americans) and 80th 
regiments, appeared below the town and demanded 
its surrender. The Commandant was justly aston- 
ished, and in no way inclined to accept the truth 
of the capitulation of a post he had been so care- 
fully warned to defend. But the evidence was 
unanswerable, and he was compelled to submit ; 
and the British flag was raised over the astounded 

I 10 N. Y. Doc , 1093. 2 10 N. Y. Doc, 1094. 


Francois Marie, commonly called and signing 
himself Piquote de Bellestre, was so highly es- 
teemed by the French authorities, that it seems 
strange to find him spoken of lightly by some of 
our writers as a fanfaron and a man of small 
account. There are few names so often and so 
honorably mentioned during the period of his 
entire manhood. He was head of one of the 
oldest houses of Canada, and was a Knight of St. 
Louis. Immediately after the organization of the 
Legislative Council of Lower Canada, under the 
Royal proclamation of 1763, he was made one of 
its m'embers, and was also Superintendent of 
Public Ways. In 1775, the Canadian noblesse 
were enrolled under his command, and he did 
notable service to the British, in opposing the 
American invasion at St. Jean, for which he 
received public thanks from the commanding gen- 
eral. He lived to a good old age, and saw the 
inauguration of the new government of Lower 
Canada in 1791. He left no son. His daughter 
married Major Mc Donell, of the British Army. 

As the last of the French Commanders, he 
deserves a prominent place in the History of 



The assumption of possession of Michigan by 
the EngHsh, when there was but a single town, 
properly so called, and when the settlers near it 
were few in number, and all within a line of ten 
miles long, did not give occasion for any imme- 
diate change of legal systems. In fact there was 
so little for law to operate upon, that the people 
knew nothing about its niceties. By the articles 
of capitulation of Montreal, those Frenchmen who 
chose to do so could leave the colony, and, 
under some limitations, dispose of their estates. 
Repentigny would not stay in America, but w^ent 
to France, and his infant colony almost disap- 
peared. In May, 1762, Alexander Henry found 
there a stockaded fort and four houses, which 
had formerly been used by the Governor, inter- 
preter and garrison. At this time there remained 
but one family, that of Mr. Cadotte, the inter- 
preter, whose wife was a Chippew^a. During that 
season Lieutenant Jamette arrived with a small 
detachment to garrison the fort. In December of 
that year, all but one of the houses were burned. 


and a part of the stockade, which was just below 
the rapids. 

The Island of Michilimackinac was at this 
time the seat of a Chippewa village. The fort 
was, where it had been in Charlevoix's time, south 
of the strait. When the French ^farrison aban- 
doned it, there was a time during which it was 
not looked after at all; but there were some 
French inhabitants. The fort was built of cedar 
pickets, and had an area of two acres. It stood 
so near the beach that the waves beat against 
the stockade in a high wind. Within the enclosure 
were thirty neat and commodious houses, and a 
church. There were two small brass cannon 
which had been captured by the Canadians on 
some raid in the Hudson's Bay country.' 

The population of Detroit and its vicinage 
has been variously estimated. Rogers estimated it 
at 2,500, with 300 dwellings. Croghan, in 1764, 
says there were * 300 or 400 families. There must 
have been a considerable settlement, as a large 
force was sent up and quartered there until re- 
duced by detachments. All the accounts are 
somewhat unreliable as they seldom define the ex- 
tent of the settlement. Very few, if any, of the 
population left the country after the surrender. 
Some went to Illinois. Bellestre and his garrison 
were escorted to the East. The settlement was 
on both sides of the Strait, extending to Lake St. 

I Henry, 40, 41. 


There were in this, as in other parts of the 
colony, a good many slaves. A very few were of 
African descent. Most were Pams or Pawnees, 
who were originally captives brought by the hi- 
dians from the west and south, and most of 
them belonging to distant tribes. Such captives 
included Cherokees, Choctaws, Pawnees, Osaoes, 
and some others, but the name Pani was applied 
to all Indians in slavery. The treaty of peace 
secured the title to these servants as of other 
property, and the old records contain many refer- 
ences to them and conveyances of them. They 
continued to be kept after the American posses- 
sion, and the last of the race that our generation 
has known was (though not then a slave) in the 
service of Governor Woodbridge a few years 

At the time of the change of sovereignty, in 
1760, the wilderness had not been encroached 
upon, and, besides a great abundance of other game, 
buffaloes were very numerous in the Lower Penin- 
sula, and for many years after were found in herds 
along the River Raisin, and all through the oak 
opening and prairie country. 

The Treaty of Peace was not signed until 
1763. Till then no regulations were adopted by 
the Crown for the government of the country, 
and it was under the control of General Gaoe ; 


I Judge Burnet, in his '' Notes on the Northwest," speaks of the Detroit 
Pawnee servants as exceptionally good and docile. 



but he was much aided by the judicious counsels 
of Sir WiUiam Johnson, whose advice was always 
honest and generally wise, but not always heeded. 

The most active and intelligent Frenchman of 
consequence, who continued in this part of the 
country, was the Chevalier Chabert de Joncaire, a 
celebrated partisan leader among the French, who 
had great influence with the Senecas, and acted 
on occasion as interpreter. He was an object of 
suspicion to the English after the conquest, and 
received frequent mention in the reports. He 
afterwards became an officer in the British service, 
and was active among the Indians in the British 
interest during Wayne's campaign. After the 
Americans took possession, he was always reckoned 
a worthy citizen, and was one of the first dele- 
gates from Wayne County to the Legislature of 
the Territory Northwest of the Ohio, in 1799. He 
was then generally known as Colonel Chabert, 
though using for his signature his name of Jon- 

As soon as Montreal capitulated, Major Rob- 
ert Rogers, who had gained reputation as a par- 
tisan ranger, was appointed to accompany the 
detachments which were to take possession of the 
western posts. A large part of the forces con- 
sisted of several companies of the 60th or Royal 

I His father and grandfather, like himself, appear to have had much to 
do with the Senecas and other New York Indians, and to have acted as 
agents and interpreters in some of their negotiations His name seems to 
have puzzled both Dutch and English, who write it sometimes as JohnCoeur, 
and Jean Caire, but seldom correctly. 


American Regiment, officered cliiefly by American 
gentlemen from New York and other Eastern 
colonies, several of them of Scottish birth or des- 
cent. Colonel George Croghan, who had long 
experience with the Indians, accompanied the ex- 
pedition. On their way up in Ohio, near Cuya- 
hoga River, they encountered Pontiac, the great 
chief of the Ottawas, who had for more :han 
twenty years kept his village a litde above Detroit, 
on the eastern side of the river. After a parley 
he parted with them peaceably, and with apparent 
friendliness. In November, 1760, as before men- 
tioned, after some difficulty in persuading Bellestre 
that the Province had capitulated, Rogers took 
possession of De'troit. 

The officers of the 60th seem to have been 
much better qualified to deal with the Indians 
than some of their associates. Sir William John- 
son, whose correspondence on Indian affairs marks 
him as a just man, repeats over and over again 
his complaints that the hostility pf the Indians 
was originally excited and always kept up, by the 
arrogance and insolence of the English. In 1768. 
reviewing the course of the past few years, he re- 
curred to this in reference to the Pondac War.' 
And it is mentioned in one of the Reports, that 
on the first expedition this spirit was offensively 
manifest. Rogers and Croghan were better skilled 
in dealinor with the savao^es, and the officers of the 
60th were generally well thought of in the coun- 

I 8 N. Y. Doc, 85. 



try. Some of them, however, knew very little of 
the Indians. 

Captain Donald Campbell, of the 6oth, was 
made first commandant, and continued in command 
till superseded by Major Gladwin, his superior in 
rank, in 1763. 

Immediately in the train of the expedition, 
came traders from Albany, who got a very early 
foothold in the country. They were mostly Dutch, 
and bore names still familiar in New York. There 
were also some roving English traders, whom Sir 
William Johnson refers to with much bitterness. 
In his elaborate Review, of September, 1767, he 
mentions numerous instances of the mischief done 
by the greedy and unscrupulous adventurers, who 
cheated and deceived the Indians and made all 
Englishmen obnoxious to the savages.' 

The greatest number of permanent traders 
who finally settled in Detroit were of Scottish 
birth or origin, and their eastern connections were 
principally with Schenectady and Albany. These 
gentlemen obtained and kept a great ascendancy 
among the Indians. They came mostly after the 
Pontiac war. 

Sir Jeffery Amherst stated in 1762, that up to 
that time trade had been entirely free.^ It appears, 
however, that passes were required to go into the 
Indian country, but they were at first granted al- 
.most as a matter of course. Under the King's 

I 7 N. Y. Doc , 953, et seq. 2 7 N. Y. Doc, 508. 


proclamation of 1763, they issued to all who gave 
security/ The Albany merchants appear to have 
been quite arrogant in their claims.^ 

While the access to Detroit was made easy, very 
few were allowed to go into the upper country. 
The French who remained in that remon, as well 
as in the Illinois country and Detroit, were not 
contented, and were in many instances very active 
in stirring up the Indians. As early as June, 1761, 
General Gage had discovered that Pontiac was 
busy in the French interest, and Alexander Henry 
on this account had great trouble in procuring 
permission to go to Mackinaw.^ The Indians did 
not regard themselves as subject to be disposed 
of by French and English treaties, and were very 
partial to their old friends. 

A period of eighteen months after the Definit- 
ive Treaty of 1763 was allowed to the inhabitants, 
to determine whether to remain in the colony or 
remove to France ; and they were allowed to sell 
their lands, on such removal, to British subjects. 
Many Acadians had come into Canada to escape 
the oppression which they had met at home, and, 
efforts were made to secure to them the same 
terms given to the Canadians ; but the preliminary 
capitulation rejected these, and left them in many 
respects at the mercy of the British. The Definit- 
ive Treaty seems to have put them all on sub- 
stantially the same footing, and it is not known 

1 7 N. Y. Doc, 535, 637. • 3 Henry, ii. 

2 7 N. Y. Doc, 613. 


that any difference was afterwards made between 
them. The inhabitants of French descent for a 
lonor time regarded themselves as treated with 
quite impartial harshness. 

The French inhabitants had hoped that Canada 
might be restored to France. In 1763, a plan of 
insurrection is found to have been communicated 
to the French Government/ but there was little 
material except Indians to work with, since the 
French officers had then mostly left the country. 
Nevertheless, there is no doubt the interval 
between the fall of Montreal and the final pacifi- 
cation of Canada, was filled with plots and schemes 
to shake off the English yoke. Joncaire was very 
active, and others less noted. The garrison and 
traders in Detroit, in their correspondence, show 
a very uneasy feeling in regard to their Canadian 
neighbors, who were unmistakably disgusted with 
the chancre of eovernment, althoucrh havinor no 
particular reason for ill-will against their own 
garrison. Sir William Johnson, when in Detroit, 
in 1 761, did what he could to secure a pleasant 
state of things with the tribes, but went home full 
of misgivings.^ When Alexander Henry went to 
the upper country that year, he found it necessary 
to disguise himself* to save his life from the savages; 
and even at Mackinaw he was in constant 
danger until the troops came up under Ether- 
ington and Leslie. Lieutenant Gorrell, who was 
sent on to Green Bay with the same expedition, 

1 10 N. Y. Doc, 1 157. 2 7 N. Y. Doc, 525, 575. 



found himself unable to meet the demands of the 
Indians for what they claimed to be the customary 
presents; and the Commandant at Detroit had, 
not means to supply him. The Green Bay Indians, 
however, were from the first quite friendly, while 
the deadliest hatred towards the English was 
among the Chippewas. The northern Ottawas, 
whom we generally in later times have been 
accustomed to regard as practically united with 
the latter, were then not so disposed, and in more 
than one instance prevented the Chippewas from 
doinof mischief. The conduct of the Sakis or Sacs 
and Ottawas at L'Arbre Croche in befriending 
Captain Etherington and Gorrell, with their asso- 
ciates, after the massacre at Mackinaw, in 1763, 
was very v/armly commended by Sir William John- 
son and the colonial office.' Pontiac himself was 
a chief of the Ottawas, and his band adhered to 
him ; but they were a more humane and civil- 
ized race than the Chippewas, and the northern 
Ottawas were not always in the closest relations 
with all of the other bands. Some doubts have 
been expressed by careless writers about Pontiac's 
tribal relations. But in the Mission Records of 
1 742 he is mentioned as chief of the Ottawas, 
near Detroit. A chief of the same name — per- 
haps a relative — is found among the Ottawa signers 
of the treaty made at the Miami Rapids in 181 7, 
though his reputed nephew, the celebrated cen- 
tenarian Okemos, was a chief of the Chippewas. 

I Gorrell's Narrative. 7 N. Y. Doc, 543, 552, 561. 

120 PONTIAC. [Chap. Vtl. 

In 1766, Pontiac executed alone, on behalf of the 
Ottawa Nation, a conveyance to Doctor George 
Christian Anthon,' of land adjoining his village. 
As this was done at a public treaty, at the time 
when he made his peace with the English, and in 
presence of Colonel Croghan, the Indian Superin- 
tendent, and Colonel Campbell, the Commander of 
Detroit, there can be no question of his tribal 

Except for the uneasiness concerning the schemes 
of Pontiac, there seems to have been nothing im- 
portant in the affairs of Michigan at this period. 
The history of his final assault upon the western 
posts, and its terrible success at all of them except 
Detroit, has been made familiar by the fascinating 
pages of Mr. Parkman. The only occupied points 
in the territory now belonging to Michigan were 
St. Joseph, Mackinaw and Detroit. The wSault Ste. 
Marie had been abandoned before the outbreak. 
St. Joseph was held by an ensign and fourteen men, 
who were suddenly attacked by the Potawatamies 
on the 25th of May, 1763, and all but Ensign 
Schlosser and three men were tomahawked. 
These four were taken to Detroit and exchanged. 
At Mackinaw, Captain Etherington, in spite of the 
plainest and surest warnings, neglected all precau- 
tions, and was entrapped by a simple contrivance. 

I This grant was made in token of the good will of the Nation to Doc- 
tor Anthon, probably for his medical services. He was father of the emin- 
ent scholars Henry, Charles and John Anthon, of New York, some of whom 
were natives of Detroit. 


The Indians organized a great game oibaggattaway,^ 
or la crosse, (named from the long handled net 
or racket with which the ball is thrown to a 
great distance.) In this game there are two posts 
or goals at a long distance apart, and the two 
parties each seek to drive the ball to opposite 
points. Etherington was leisurely observing the 
game (on which he had laid wagers) and, as if 
by chance, the ball was thrown into the fort, and 
the Indians rushed in pell mell" after it. Once 
within the fort, they began the slaughter. Ether- 
ington and Lieutenant Leslie, with a handful of 
men, were hurried away as prisoners, together 
with Mr. Bostwick, a trader who had preceded 
Henry, and Father Jonois, the missionary at 
L'Arbre Croche. Henry was concealed by a 
Pani woman in the garret of Mr. Lanelade, a 
Frenchman, who was an off-shoot of the distin- 
guished colonial family of that name, but who 
showed an utter want of common humanity in 
his dealings with the unfortunate fugitive. He 
was finally saved by the intercession of an Indian 
named Wawatam, who had become attached to him 
and adopted him as his brother. The Jesuit mis- 

1 Pagaadowan. The Indian crosier or raquette, with which the game is 
played. Pagaadoivewin \\i^ g?iXi^^ '\i?>€i{.— Baraga. The l)all is called ///{■- 
wakwad.—Id. The raquette resembles a long handled battledore. Charle- 
voix describes two games of ball with these implements — Letter 22. 

2 There was one fashion of playing the old English game of pall mall 
with a racket, and this term pell-mell may have been derived from the con- 
fused rush which is always made for the ball in such games, as in the game 
of shinty, {viilgo shinny.) See quotations under " Pall Mall " in Richard- 
son* s Dictionary. 



sionary, who was a good and sensible man, was 
sent to Detroit with messages to Major Gladwin. 
Henry was taken to the Island of Mackinaw, and 
concealed for a time in Scull Cave. He was 
afterwards taken safely to the lower lakes. The 
other captives were carried to L'Arbre Croche, 
and kindly treated. During this carnival of cru- 
elty, the bodies of the slain were boiled and 
eaten by the Indians, and Henry's friend Wawa- 
tam partook of the horrid feast. 

Etherington managed to send a letter to 
Lieutenant Gorrell, at Green Bay. That gallant 
officer gathered a force of friendly Indians, and 
set out to the rescue of his comrades. ^He 
stopped near Beaver Island, expecting to find 
them there. He was met by a canoe sent out 
from L'Arbre Croche, and then pushed on to 
meet them at that place. By the good offices of 
the Ottawas, who would not let the Chippewas 
stop or injure them, they were all enabled to 
reach Montreal.' 

In these massacres the French were left un- 
harmed, and were evidently on good terms with 
the Indians. Some of them showed the qualities 
which become Christian and civilized people. 
Some of them betrayed no signs of humanity. It 
is wonderful to see how often both Frenchmen 
and Englishmen on the borders have not only 
tolerated but encouraofed Indian barbarities ao^ainst 
the whites. The period between the beginning 

» Gorrell's Narrative. 


of the American Revolution and the Battle of the 
Thames, in 1813, witnessed many cruel scenes, 
for which men of standing and consequence were 
far more responsible than the red men whom 
they stirred up to mischief Few, if any, of the 
great Indian outbreaks originated with the sava- 
ges. No more indignant complaints against this 
conduct of influential Englishmen were ever heard 
anywhere than those of leading British statesmen 
in Parliament against the use of such barbarous 
instruments for the slauo^hter of the American 
settlers. And Tecumseh, at Fort Meigs, was 
active in restraining barbarities, which he rebuked 
General Proctor in the most cuttingr lano-uao^e for 
allowing and encouraging. 

Detroit alone escaped capture. Pontiac had 
been very cunning in preparing a device to enable 
him and his warriors to o-et within the fort and 
destroy the English. They cut their gun barrels 
short and concealed them under their blankets, 
and sixty head-men thus equipped were allowed 
to enter the council house, their followers being 
left outside in the road, waiting for the signal. 
Major Gladwin had been warned, and had heeded 
the warning, and had learned what was to be 
Pontiac's signal for attack. As soon as he nodced 
the chief preparing for it, he gave a sign, and at 
once the drums beat and the soldiers handled 
their guns. The great chief was for once thrown 
off his balance, and could not conceal his chagrin. 
He and his myrmidons departed with lame 


explanations, while Gladwin abstained from showing 
the extent of his knowledge of their treachery. 
The next day Pontiac made a visit of ceremony, 
with the calumet or pipe of peace, which he left 
with Major Campbell on his departure as a token 
of sincerity. That afternoon he got up a ball- 
play, intending a stratagem like that at Mackinaw, 
but the garrison were on their guard and took 
no part in it. The next morning. May 9th, the 
French inhabitants went to mass at the church 
above the town, returning before 1 1 o'clock, and 
havino- then seen no sions of mischief. But the 
common around the fort was soon crowded with 
a multitude of warriors of all the neighboring- 
tribes, and Pontiac approached the gate and 
asked to be admitted. He was told that he could 
come in himself, but not his followers. On say- 
ing that they wished to smoke the calumet, Glad- 
win gave him to understand, very curtly and 
plainly, that they must keep out. This ended the 
pantomime. The hate and wrath of the savages 
were no longer concealed ; but they did not begin 
the war by attacking soldiers. They first ran 
across the common to the cottage of an old En- 
glishwoman, and killed and scalped her and her 
family. Hence they proceeded up the river to 
Hog Island,' and there found an old English 

1 This island was first named He a Ste. Claire. Being infested with 
rattlesnakes, several hogs were turned loose on the island to destroy them ; 
and in time they in turn became numerous and very wild. This obtained tur 
it the name of He aux Cochons, or Hog Island. In 1845, a party of ladies 
and gentlemen on a picnic solemnly named it Belle Isle — its present title. 



sergeant named James Fisher, whom they also 
murdered. Tradition says that the dead man's 
body, which was decendy Interred by Canadian 
neighbors, would not rest, though covered more 
than once, but thrust out its imploring hands 
until quieted by the rites of the church. 

A curious legal episode Is connected with this 
murder. When the war was over, a Frenchman 
named Alexis Cuillerier (an ancestor or relative, 
it is believed, of the Beaublen family, their name 
being properly Cuillerier de Beaublen) was tried by 
a court of inquiry, and sentenced to banishment 
from the settlement for drowning Fisher's child. 
In 1769, Captain Turnbull (then commanding) pub- 
lished an order' recalling him from banishment, 
and ordering all people to abstain from charging 
him with guilt. The order recites that he was 
convicted on the tesdmony of a false witness, 
who Is declared to have been found oulltv of in- 
famous offences and utterly unworthy of credit.^ 

1 Wayne County Records, A., 91. 

2 This curious document, having been issued in French and English, 
(both originals), is subjoined in both languages as recorded. The verbal pe- 
culiarities were probably correctly preserved. The French copy gives the 
correct name of the accuser. 

" By George Turnbull Esqfe Capt. in His Majesty's 60th Regi- 
ment, Commanding Detroit & its Dependencies, &c. 
Whereas Mr. Alexis Cuillierie has been wrongfully accused by Jno Myer 
of having (during the Indian War of 1763) been Guilty of drowning a Child 
belonging to the late James Fisher ; the many Circumstancis in favour of 
Mr- Cuillierie that were at that time desinedly Conceal'd, but which have ap- 
peared since, together with the Testimony of several Creditable Inhabitants, 
Concerning the Infamous Character of thatperjur'd Villain Jn'^ Myer who has 


This gentleman was very intimate with Pontiac, 
and Parkman gives a description of him as a fan- 

himself since given a very Glaring & but too Strong proof of said Testimony 
by premedilately Murdering James Hill Clark, Trader at the Miamis River, 
these and many other sufficient proofs Convmcing me throughly ot M''- Cuil- 
lierrie's Innocence, I was determined then to recall him and revoke the or- 
ders Publish'd to his prejudice in Consequence of said fals accusation ; but 
thought it best, first to Communicate the Same to His Excellency General 
Gage, Commander in Chief of all His Majesty's Forces in North America ; 
Now, in consequence of Orders receiv'd from his Excellency, the said Mr- 
Alexis Cuillierrie is permitted to return and remain here unmolested as soon 
as he pleases. And all manner of Persons are hereby strictly forbidden to 
seize, stop, injure, molest, or reproach under any pretence whatsoever the 
said Mr. Cuillierrie for or on account of the said Malicious & fals Accusation 
as they shall answer to the contrary on their peril 

Given under my Hand and Seal at Detroit, June 4th, 1769. 
For a Coppy sign'd George Turnbull." 

" Par George Turnbull Ecuyer Capt Commandant Le Detroit 
et Ses Dependences &c. 
Comme Mr. Alexis Cuillierier a ete Injustement accuze par Jean Mayet, 
davoir pendent La Guerre Sauuage, fait noyer un Enfent, appartenant a feu 
Jacques fischer et que maleuresement toutes Les Circonstances en faveur du 
susdt Sr Cuilberies etuient dans Ce temps la Malicieuzement Cachees Mais 
qui ont Depuis paru authentiquement [par] Le temoignage de plusieurs 
Domicilies Dun Caractere Irreprochable Concernant Linfame Conduite de 
Cet Indigne par Jure Jean Mayet, qui a par lui meme donne depuis des 
preuves Claires et Convinquentes des Temoignages Cydessus enplongean ses 
pcrfides Mains dans le sang de Jacques hill Clark Dans la riviere des Mis 
amis tout Cecy et plusieur autres preuues Mayant entierement Con vincu 
Delinnocence du Susdt Sr Cuillieries Jetois Determine de le Rappeler et 
anuUer Lordre que Javois donne et fait publier Contre Iny en Consequence 
de la fausse accusation. Mais ayant pence, quil etoit plus apropos, de la 
Communiquer a son Exelence Le General Gage, Commandant en Chef de 
toutes Les forces de sa Majeste dans Lamerique du nord Maintenant en 
Consequence des ordres Regue de Son Exelence; il est permis au- 
susdt S>". Alexis Cuillieries de Revenir aussitot quil luy plaira, et y Rester 
paisible : il est done en Joint et ordonne atoutes personnes quelconques de ne 
point Injuner, ou Reprocher La Mt>indre Chose, au Susdt Sr Alexis Cuilleries 
au sujet de la fause et Malicieuze accusation intente Contre Luy tous 
Ceux qui Contreviendront a lordre Cy dessus en Repondront a leur 

Risque et peril. 

Donne au Detroit le 4, Juin 1769 

Pour Copie. Signe Geo: Turnbull." 


tastic and foppish person, whom the chief used as 
a tool.' The tradition, it appears, did him injustice. 
The settlers were generally on good terms with the 
chiefs, and in some instances they were no doubt 
unjustly suspected of plotting with Pontiac. Glad- 
win reported that several, whose characters always 
stood well in Detroit, were at the bottom of the 
plot, and guilty of the worst treachery ; and Sir 
William Johnson, and Lord Shelburne, more than 
once repeated the charge,^ and some were very earn- 
est for their punishment. Our own writers, best 
informed, have not been satisfied of their miscon- 
duct. And until the final cession of the country 
in 1763. it is difficult to see any reason why they 
should have been active for the English. 

At first Gladwin did not believe the outbreak 
was very serious ; and even after the Indians had 
attacked the fort, and been driven off with con- 
siderable loss, he attempted to negotiate. Messrs. 
Chapoton and Godfroy were sent with an inter- 
preter, La Butte, to parley with Pontiac. He com- 
pletely deceived them into supposing he was dis- 
posed to treat ; and desired that Major Campbell, 
who was Gladwin's predecessor, and esteemed by 
French and Indians for his probity and fairness, 
should come to his camp. This officer, against 
Gladwin's misgivings, ^ desired to go, and was ac- 

I Conspiracy of Pontiac, p. 224. 2 7 N. V. Doc, 600, 6S7. 

3 Gladwin's conduct in permitting their departure was approved, as ne- 
cessary to enable him to get provisions lor the fort — as he gained this advan- 
tage by temporising — 7 N. Y. Doc, 617. 


companied by Lieutenant George McDougall, of his 
regiment. They went up to Pontiac's camp, at 
Bloody Run, where an angry mob set upon them, 
and if the chief had not interfered they would have 
been killed. He retained them as prisoners, and, 
instead of negotiating, immediately made prepara- 
tions to cut off any reinforcements which might 
come from below. He took Major Campbell with 
the canoes down the river. They intercepted the 
despatch schooner at the entrance of Lake Erie, 
and in making their attack on it placed the officer 
in the bow of a canoe as a screen between them 
and the vessel, to prevent her firing on them. 
The veteran called to the crew to do their duty 
without regard to him ; but a fresh wind carried 
her beyond pursuit, and she reached Niagara 
River in safety. Pontiac desired to make terms 
with the fort by using him as a hostage, but 
without effect. After the original treachery was 
discovered, McDougall, with a trader named Van 
E*ps,' escaped. His older companion would not 
attempt it, being short-sighted, and fearing to im- 
pede his comrade. He was afterwards murdered 
by Wasson, a chief of the Chippewas. Pontiac was 
not a party to this crime, and regretted it. 

The first force sent to aid the beleaguered 
town, under Lieutenant Cuyler, was intercepted 

» 7 N, Y. Doc , 533. McDougall remained in Detroit. His two sons, 
Colonel George McDougall and Colonel John R McDougall were promin- 
ent citizens forty years ago. The latter was grandfather of Mr. Alexander 
M. Campau of Detroit. He owned the farm west of Meloches, near Bloody 


at Pointe Pelee, and turned back.' In July, Cap- 
tain Dalzell, an aid of Sir Jeffery Amherst, arrived 
with suppHes, and with 280 men, inckiding, in 
addition to detachments from the 55th and 80th 
regiments, twenty rangers, all under the command 
of Major Robert Rogers. A heavy fog favored 
their landing. Dalzell on his arrival foolishly in- 
sisted on making a night march, and attacking 
the Indians in their camp. The secret leaked out, 
and Pontiac was advised of the plan. At two 
o'clock in the morning of July 31, 1763, 250 men 
marched out of the fort and up the River Road, 
protected in part on the river by two large boats 
with swivels. Two miles above the fort the road 
crossed a bridge at the mouth of a stream then 
known as Parent's Creek, but since as Bloody 
Run. The banks formed a ravine, through which 
the stream ran rapidly until it neared the Detroit 
River, when it spread out into a little mere, or 
marsh-bordered pond, narrowing at the bridge to 
about twenty feet, and being there quite deep. 
As soon as the troops reached the bridge they were 
assailed by a murderous 'fire, and the ravine became 
a scene of carnage. The darkness bewildered 
them, and they were compelled to retreat, fighting 
against ambuscades all the way, until they reached 
the fort again at eight o'clock, after six hours of 
marching and fighting in that short road. DalzclP 

1 7 N. Y. Doc, 526. 

2 This officer's name is written Ualyell in many documents, and Dr. 
D'Callaghan takes Parkman to task tor writing it Dalzell. The latter form is 


130 SIEGE RAISED. [Chap. VII. 

was killed while gallantly striving to save a wounded 

The battle of Bloody Run, though fought by a 
small force, was important in its results, and was 
a remarkable instance of a continuous hand to hand 
fight with Indians. The scene has now entirely 
changed. The stream has disappeared, and no 
relic is left but a huge tree riddled with bullets, 
which has not yet been sacrificed to city improve- 

The siege went on with various noteworthy 
episodes, which have been described by able 
writers, and which are too long in recital for this 
sketch. In October, the besiegers began to dis- 
appear ;' and Pontiac retired to the Maumee coun- 
try, when he found the final treaty of peace was 
signed between France and England, and that no 
help could henceforth come from the French in 
Canada. But he still cherished some plans of 
mischief. The next year [1764] Bradstreet came 
with a force and relieved the worn-out garrison. 
He held a council with the Wyandots and other 
tribes, and made a treaty, in which, by the fraud 
or incapacity of the interpreters, they were made 
to acknowledge an abject subjection to the Eng- 

also found, and is the original family name, sometimes also called Dalziel. 
In the days of the covenanters, one of their most savage foes was General 
Dalziel or Dalzell, a veteran who vowed never to shave his beard after the 
execution of Charles T., and who was as merciless as Claverhouse. Mrs. 
Grant, of Laggan, who knew him, calls the officer who was killed at Detroit 
Dalziel, and says he was related to the Dalziels of Carnwath. — Memoir of an 
American Lady, Ch. 51. 

» 7 N. Y. Doc, 589, et seq. 


lish, which they never dreamed of. Bradstreet 
was a very unwise and arrogant negotiator, and 
his conduct was not regarded with approval. Sir 
WIlHam Johnson censured it severely in his Re- 
ports, as calculated to offend the tribes. By this 
treaty the land was ceded from Detroit to Lake St. 

The importance of Detroit was now fully recog- 
nized, and it was made the central point for all the 
western interests. The want of some sort of ofov- 
ernment was felt, and representations were re- 
peatedly made by Johnson, Bradstreet, Croghan, 
Governor Moore, Golden, and all interested in 
American affairs. Dr. Franklin was also active in 
England in laboring with the Board of Trade to 

I 7 N. Y. Doc, 649, 650, 674, 678. No one can calculate how much of 
the trouble between whites and Indians has come from the ignorance and ras- 
cality of interpreters. If there is no one that can detect their errors, they 
can and will make up such stories and give such versions as they choose, 
without regard to accuracy, and represent each side to the other as saying 
what is really colored or made up by the person whom each is obliged to re- 
ly on. The French missionaries and the officers long in the country were 
familiar with Indian languages, andweie seldom if ever imposed on. But the 
sounds of the Indian languages cannot well be expressed by English forms, 
and the English negotiators, and most of the Americans, have been com- 
pelled to trust almost implicitly to their interpreters. Some of these, like 
Joncaire, La Butte, Henry Connor and Whitmore Knaggs, were men of char- 
acter and reliable. But many have been dishonest and ignorant. An in- 
terpreter will seldom admit that he does not comprehend any phrase that is 
used, and will always report something as dictated to him, whether truly or 
falsely. These men, too, are very apt to soften down or leave out plirases 
and charges that -are offensive, and put cnil speeches in their place. It is 
evident this was done by Bradstreet's interpreter. Sir William Johnson, to 
illustrate the danger of relying on such persons, tells an anecdote of an oc- 
currence in his presence where when an English missicjnary gave out as his 
text that there was no respect of persons with God, the interpreter rendered 
it that God did not care for the Indians; and Sir William had to intervene 
and translate the sermon himself. 7 N. Y. Doc, 970. 


establish governments there and elsewhere in the 
west, but without success.' 

As soon as the Treaty of Paris had been rati- 
fied, the King of Great Britain issued a proclama- 
tion for the orovernment ot the various French 
possessions acquired by it. So much of Canada 
as constitutes what was afterwards known as Lower 
Canada, he established as the Government of 
Quebec, to be governed in the first instance by a 
governor and council, who were to establish courts 
and tribunals to decide all cases as nearly as possi- 
ble according to the laws of England, with an ap- 
peal in civil causes to the Privy Council. When 
circumstances should permit, an assembly was to 
be called. Lord Mansfield was very indignant at 
this action, as revolutionizing the whole laws of the 
Province,^ and introducing a system unknown to the 
people. Afterwards, in Campbell v. HalL [Cowper, 
20^,) after four successive arguments, he decided 
that, althoueh the old civil and criminal laws remain 
until changed, yet the King, until Parliament should 
intervene, had absolute legislative authority over 
conquered countries ; but that by this proclamation 
the sovereign had exhausted his powers, and could 
not legislate further. This last proposition is doubt- 
ful law, but it was followed immediately by the pass- 
ing by Parliament, (whose power was beyond 
cavil) of the Quebec Act, to be noticed hereafter. 

The country west of Lower Canada, not ceded 
by the Indians, was by this proclamation to be 

I See N. Y. Docs., and Mills' Report, passim. 2 Mills, p. 190. 


left unmolested for their hunting grounds, and no 
purchases were to be made from them except by 
public treaty for the Crown. Trade was to be 
open and free to all who desired licenses, under 
such regrulations as mioht be established. 

Provision was made for arresting and returning 
all fugitives from justice to the colonies whence 
they fled. There was to be no law or govern- 
ment west of Quebec, except under military con- 

As several cases had been decided in the 
English courts against even governors of colonies, 
who had. overstepped the laws to the prejudice of 
citizens, the officers sent to Detroit before the 
Quebec Act had a wholesome fear of prosecution, 
and were generally very careful to keep within safe 
bounds. The case of Governor Eyre, (Z. R, 6 O. 
B. I. Phillips V. Eyre,) who was sued for his course 
in the Jamaica troubles of 1865, anci exonerated by 
a statute of indemnity, is the most recent attempt to 
enforce such liabilities. 

It is not generally understood by our people 
that, after the war with Mexico, the Territory of 
New Mexico remained under military government 
until the territorial government was established 
by the Compromise Acts of 1850; and that it had 
a whole system of revised statutes, known as the 
" Kearney Codey which were passed by no legis- 
lature, and obtained their only sanction from the 
general commanciing that country. The British 
Parliament, at the time of the Treaty of Paris, 


was not much disposed to spend time In fostering 
colonial interests, and roval colonies had not then 
been more misgoverned than others. The Ameri- 
can Congress, after the treaty with Mexico, could 
not agree upon the territorial schemes before it. 
As some government was needed, the military 
rule, for the time being, was unavoidable, and 
General Kearney adopted a system which was in 
effect civil. But Detroit, before 1775, was not 
governed by any system whatever, and the com- 
manding general and his subordinates could do 
as they chose. Their course was generally mod- 
erate and reasonable ; and although the inhabit- 
ants grumbled at the burdens laid upon them to 
keep up the fortifications, there were no extor- 
tions or peculations for private or doubtful pur- 
poses, as there were In many posts under the 
French control. Most of the British commanders 
were honest a^nd reputable men, and obtained 
respect and good will from the people in their 

Bradstreet, with whatever deficiencies he may 
be charged, had sense enough to discover that 
Detroit was a point of much political as well as 
military Importance, and needed some civil gov- 
ernment. His desire was that English settlers 
might be encouraged to come in, and that, whether 
held under civil or military control, there should 
be courts of justice established.' 

I He wrote as follows : " All posts upon the banks of the lakes, from 
Niagara upwards, to be under the control of the officer commanding at De- 


But the Idea, made prominent, that these were 
important for the advantage and protection of In- 
dian deahngs, and that Indians would resort to 
them, was not very practicable.' Their necessity 
for the whites was more apparent. The importance 
of introducing more settlers was continually urged 
by the well-wishers of the Province. But the 
trade interests of Great Britain were as much op- 
posed to encouraging American settlements as 
any of the French intriguers had been, and the 
future was not very promising.^ 

The distant officials were very vindictive against 
the French settlers, and if their sentiments had pre- 
vailed there would have been trouble at Detroit.^ 
But the gentlemen who were on the spot had 
more wisdom than to create disgust among the 
people with whom they were placed in intimate 
and friendly relations, and who, when they found 
their allegiance irrevocably transferred, demeaned 
themselves quietly and amicably. Care was taken, 

troit; and should Government judge it improper to establish a civil govern- 
ment there, and not encourage the colony, still some court of justice is neces- 
sary, to the end offenders, inhabitants, Indians, Indian traders and others, 
might be brought to justice, and punished by a law that might prevent liti- 
gious suits, and satisfy the savages that the strictest justice is done them. — 
7 N. Y. Doc, 691. 

1 7 N. Y. Doc, 641, 663, 668, 691. 

2 "The colony of Detroit grows fast, and the inhabitants have great influ- 
ence over the savages ; the removing them would occasion a general war 
with the Indians, and to leave them as they now are will take a great length 
of time before they become proper English, subjects." This hint is followed 
by urging the introduction of British colonists — 7 N. Y. Doc, 693 

3 7 N. Y. Doc, 579. 



however, to appoint British agents in Heu of French, 
over Indian affairs, and in the trade matters. 
Lieutenant John Hay, (afterwards Colonel and 
Lieutenant Governor,) was one of the first ap- 
pointed ; and when Pontiac afterwards came in 
and treated with the British, he specially requested 
that Hay and Crawford should be retained in the 

The Scottish officers and merchants became 
favorites with the Indians, for reasons similar to 
those which attached the tribes to the French. 
Many gentlemen of good family, but narrow 
means, came to America from the highlands and 
west of vScotland, where the old feudal relations 
had produced a habit of courtesy and kindness to 
inferiors, and a disregard of any claims of wealth 
alone to superior social consideration. These 
persons, although sometimes high-tempered and 
punctilious, were much more careful to avoid 
giving offence to the Indians than some of their 
English associates were. The subsequent history 
of the country shows them to have had more 
intimate relations with the French also. And when 
the Americans succeeded to the possession of this 
region, the Scottish merchants far outnumbered 
all the rest, and there were found among them 
representatives, and subsequent inheritors, of the 
best houses in Scotland.' 

I Angus Mackintosh, of Detroit, inherited the estates which belonged 
to the old earldom of Moy, the earldom itself having been forfeited in the 
rebellion against the House of Hanover. Being entailed upon heirs male 
general, and the direct line failing, it was found that Angus Mackintosh 


Bradstreet, while at Detroit, made military 
appointments in the militia, and held courts for 
the trial of persons who had favored Pontiac and 
adhered to him durino^ the war. There were 
probably no capital sentences, but such as were 
convicted were banished. This was perhaps the 
time when Cuillerier was condemned. 

The courts, so far as we fmd any trace 
of their proceedings, were called courts of inquiry, 
and there is some reason for supposing they 
were made up in occasional instances, if not gen- 
erally, of a jury, instead of being confined to 
military officers. There are some references 
which indicate the use of a mixed jury of French 
and English, after the fashion of the jury de 
medietate lingiuie, formerly used for controversies 
with aliens. Sir William Johnson refers to the 
conviction of a trader by court of inquiry, for 
using false weights, and it appears that he set 
the Commander at defiance, and threatened him 
with legal prosecution.' It was such occurrences, 
and the uncertainty how far an officer could 
safely go in punishing civil offenders, which led 
to strong appeals from Johnson, and Governor 
Moore, for some tribunals for dealing with crim- 
inals in the country outside of the Quebec Gov- 
ernment. The eastern colonies, acting on the 
principles of the common law, could punish no 

and Sir James Mackintosh were the two nearest of kin, the former being 
one degree nearer than the latter. A claimant was also found for the 
estates of Annandale, but unsuccessfully. 

I 7 N. Y. Doc, 895. 


offenders outside of their own borders, and mili- 
tary law was very distasteful to English courts 
and people.' There was much lawlessness among 
the roving adventurers outside of the posts,"" and 
especially about Mackinaw, which was for some 
time after the massacre left without commander 
or garrison. It was not restored till 1764 or 1765. 

The Lords of Trade opposed any extension 
of settlements, on the notion that the settlers 
would become manufacturers, and the English 
tradesmen would lose their market. The public 
men who favored settlements, instead of exposing 
the folly of using colonists as inferiors and con- 
tributors of all their energies to serve the greedy 
demands of home-abiding Englishmen, met the 
arrogant claims by urging that new settlers would 
enlarge instead of narrowing the market, and 
could not furnish their own domestic articles. 
The spirit that drove America into revolution was 
manifest in the whole correspondence of the govern- 
ment agents. Unfortunately there was an interest 
in this country opposed to civilization. The fur 
trade was still a power, and anything which drove 
out the wild beasts and opened the land to cul- 
ture was in the way of this powerful ministry of 
barbarism. The early associated fur traders were 
the worst enemies to improvement which this 
region ever encountered; and in the sequel they 
very nearly succeeded in changing our political 
destiny. But the natural disposition of British 

X 7 N. Y. Doc, 877, 895. a 7 N. Y. Doc, 871-2. 


and Americans to seek their fortunes in new 
countries was not to be repressed. Although not 
numerous, settlers came in by degrees as soon 
as the end of hostilities made it safe ; and in 
1767, and probably sooner, there were found in 
Detroit persons of British birth and descent 
whose families and descendants are well known 
there. From the beginning of the occupation the 
Commandants were beset with applications for 
lands, and they were compelled to give per- 
mission to occupy, although they could do no 
more. It had been customary for the French 
Commandants, w^ith or without the ratification of 
the Governor or commanding general, to dispose 
of lots of land w^ithin the fort and adjacent 
domain, although Mr. Navarre, in 1767, stated 
that the power did not exist in the domain.' 
But grants of land for farming purposes were 
within the control of the authorities at Quebec, 
and the action of the Commandant at Detroit 
was nugatory unless confirmed. The Indian title* 
had not been given up, except east of the fort 
to Lake St. Clair, and a trifling distance west. 
The Royal Proclamation distinctly forbade private 
Indian purchases. 

In 1765, when Colonel John Campbell was in 
command, George Croghan held a council at 
Detroit, where eighteen Indian tribes were repre- 
sented, and was more fortunate than Bradstreet 
in getting their confidence. Croghan was the 

I I St. Papers. 



ablest British acrent that ever dealt with the 
Indians In the Northwest. On this occasion he 
persuaded Pontlac to enter Into friendly relations 
with tlie British, and the grant to Dr. Anthon 
previously mentioned, made at this council, was 
probably the first Indian grant made in this region 
to any one.' It was not good within the letter 
of the King's proclamation, but such grants made 
In treaties have generally been respected, and 
while this was by separate deed, it was very 
likely one of the means whereby the chief was 
conciliated. The suggestions he made to appoint 
as agents persons in whom he had confidence, 
were deemed worthy of consideration by vSIr 
William Johnson, and It would have been a very 
cheap privilege to allow him to give away his 
own lands to a British officer and surgeon, who 
had earned his gratitude. There were, however, 
many dealings with the Indians for private grants, 
which were connived at or openly favored by later 
Commandants, without any color of right. 

It appears Incidentally that the Inhabitants of 
Detroit had been regularly taxed to keep up the 
forufications. In 1765, when Colonel Campbell 
was expecting to leave, a remonstrance was sent 
to him against these taxes as oppressive. The 
burden, however, does not seem to have been a 
new one. Not long after, a subscription was 
made by the traders and others, to put the fort 

I At the same time, or within a tew days, Pontiac made several 
other grants in the same vicinity, all four arpents by eighty. 


and stockade in complete order. In 1766, a 
receipt is found for three pounds York currency, 
on a farm outside the fort, levied by Colonel 
Campbell for lodging troops/ 

In 1765, Philip Le Grand appears to have been 
acting as justice of the peace, and notary, proba- 
bly appointed by Bradstreet. He seems to have 
held the office for several years. In 1776, he 
acted in a matter where Philip Dejean was inter- 
ested. He could not have clone much except 
when the latter could not act, and there are 
some indications that Dejean was expected by 
General Gage to practically supersede Le (}rand. 
The common law powers of a justice did not 
extend to the trial of causes, but only to the 
examination and committal of offenders. 

In 1767, we find the first steps taken to pro- 
vide for the administration of justice. On the 
24th day of April, 1767, Captain George Turnbull, 
of the 60th or Roval American Reo^iment, Com- 
mandant of Detroit and its Dependencies, issued 
a commission to Philip Dejean, merchant in 
Detroit, of a somewhat peculiar and comprehen- 
sive character, which ran as lollows : 

"I do hereby nominate and appoint you jus- 
tice of the Peace, to Inquire into all complaints 
that shall come before you, for which purpose 
you are hereb)' authorised to examine b)' oath 
such Evidences as shall be necessary that the 
Truth of the matter may be better known; Pro- 

I Wayne Records. 



vided always that you give no Judgement or final 
award but at their joint Request, and which by 
bond they bind themselves to abide by, but 
settle the Determination of the matter by Arbi- 
tration, which they are likewise to give their 
bond to abide by, one or two persons to be 
chosen by each ; and if they cannot agree and 
have named Two only you name a third, and if 
Four, a fifth, and their Determination or award 
to be approved by me before put in Execution. 
I further authorise and Impower you to act as 
chief and sole Notary and Tabellion, by drawing 
all wills Deeds &c, proper for that Department, 
the same to be done in English only, and I also 
appoint you sole Vendue Master for such sales 
as may happen here, in the usual and accustomed 
manner. Given under my hand and seal at 
Detroit this 24th day of April 1767." (signed) 
Geo. TMrnbidl. 

On the 28th day of July, 1767, Robert Bayard, 
major commanding, gave him a further commission, 
as follows : 

"Whereas it has been represented to me by 
the Trading People and others reciding at Detroit 
that some Tempery form of Justice for the recovery 
of Debts &ca, was become absolutely necessary, 
and having taken this matter into consideration, 
and finding the utility of such an Establishment, 
I have accordingly granted them a Tempery Court 
of Justice to be held twice in every month at 
Detroit, to Decide all actions of Debts, Bonds, 


Bills, Contracts and Trespasses, above the sum 
of Five Pounds' New York CWcency, . and. 
confiding in Philip Dejean for his uprightness 
and Integrity, I do hereby nominate and appoint 
him the second Judge of the said Court of Jusdce 
at Detroit. Given under my hand and seal at 
Detroit, the 28th day of July 1767. "(Signed) 
''Rob* Bayard, Major' Comm-< at Detroit. To Philip 
Dejean Esq^''-'^ 

The first judge was doubtless the Commandant, 
who always retained control of affairs. 

Major Bayard at the same dme established a 
fee-bill, approved by a committee of citizens. Mr. 
Dejean, of whom we shall hear further, was a 
merchant who had been unfortunate in his busi- 
ness. Within the next year he seems to have 
given occasion for complaints — apparently tor 
extordon. But for some reasons not apparent — 
(although from his after life it may be assumed 
it was a peculiar influence at head-quarters) no 
one dared to come out openly and oppose him. 
On the 28th of May, 1763, at Dejean's request, 
Captain Turnbull called a court of inquiry, "in 
consequence of complaints made against him," 
who reported that they, "having Duely heard and 
carefully examined into the Grievances set iorth 
by the said Philip Dejean Esq^'^' are of opinion 
First, That the Fees established by the Committee 
appointed by Major Robert Bayard on the estab- 
lishment of the Court of Justice at Detroit are 

« Twelve dollars and a half. 


[Chap. VII. 

just and reasonable and ought not to be less. 
Secondly, That evry Prisoner confin'd in the 
Guard House, whether for Debt or Misdemeanor, 
shall on his being sett at Liberty, pay One Dol- 
lar, and evry Batteau or Canoe arriveing here 
loaded with Merchandize belonging to any Person 
or Persons not possessing in Property any Lot 
or Building within this Fort, shall pay Two 
Dollars, and the monies ariseing from thence to 
be aply'd as in the time of the French Govern- 
ment to keep in Good and sufficient Repairs the 
Fortifications around the Town, as will more 
fully appear in our former Petition to Capt" Turn- 
bull for that Purpose. Thirdly, No Person 
having appear'd before us to make any Com- 
plaints against said Philip Dejean with respect to 
his publick office, we are of opinion that they 
were ill-founded and without cause." This is 
signed by yaines Sterling, Colin Andrews, T. 
Williams, Will"^ Edgar, John Robison, Eustache 
Gamelin, P. St. Cosnie, y. Cabacier, Cicote, T. 
M oiler c, A. Bar the. 

It would seem that some movement was on 
foot to remove Dejean, as on the 26th of May 
a very brief certificate, whereby the signers "do 
vote for and unanimously approve of Philip 
Dejean to be Judge and Justice of the District 
of Detroit and its Dependencies " was signed 
by thirty-three persons, of whom five were 
French, and the rest English, Scotch and Dutch. 
On the 13th of June, 1768, a petition in French 


was drawn up addressed to General C}age, and 
signed by twenty-five signers, to the same effect, 
the principal reason given being that Dejean 
" understands both English and French, and is 
therefore much better able to decide the difficul- 
ties which may arise between the ancient and 
new subjects* of His Britannic Majesty." General 
Gage did not disturb the appointment.' 

About this time a court of inquiry was held 
to pass upon Bellestre's title to several lots in 
Detroit, and he appeared before them and estab- 
lished his claims.^ 

Meanwhile Mackinaw had been re-established. 
In 1766 complaints were made that affairs were 
not going on properly there. The next year 
evidence was obtained that Robert Roeers, who 
was sent there in 1765, was intriguing by lavish 
presents and otherwise to get influence with the 
Indians, for the ultimate purpose, as was then 
supposed, of getting a separate colony or other 
establishment for his own emolument. He ob- 
tained the means by drawing large drafts which 
were not honored, and became involved very 
heavily, and completely demoralized the savages. 
He was afterwards charged with having meditated 
surrendering Mackinaw to the French or Spani- 
ards, and was taken down to Montreal under 
arrest, and as some say in irons, and tried by 
court mardal. He could not have been convicted 

^ Wayne Records, A , 35. 2 Id., B., 128. 



of treason, for he was soon afterwards at large, 
and went to Algiers and entered the service of 
the Dey. 

The narrative of his doing^s at Mackinaw, as 
given by the depositions which led to his arrest, 
shows that he must have had some designs 
inconsistent with honesty as well as loyalty, but 
it is difficult to say just what they were. A letter 
was intercepted from Colonel Hopkins, (who 
appears to have been well acquainted in Detroit, 
but through some discontent or other cause to 
have entered the French service,) urging Rogers, 
in a vague way, to gain over the Indians, and 
offering to use influence, if he should desire it, to 
get him employment from France. But the 
writer was evidently desirous of having the 
American colonies independent, and urges Rogers 
to strive for that ultimate end.' The letter is 
one of the earliest writings looking towards 
American independence. Rogers was unquestion- 
ably a dishonest and selfish adventurer, who was 
inordinately ambitious and unscrupulous, and his 
course gave much uneasiness to the British 
authorities. It is not likely he determined his 
course by any standard but his own profit or 
advancement. When the Revolution opened he 
played a double part, professing patriotism ; but 
as the Americans had no faith in him he joined 
the British and obtained a colonel's commission, 

I 7 N. Y. Doc, 988, 993. 8 N. Y. Doc, 36 


but never distinguished himself, and passed into 
utter obscurity.' 

The British Ministry, in March, 1768, wrote 
very strongly to Sir William Johnson in regard 
to both Rogers and Chabert cle Joncaire, as dan- 
gerous and treacherous men, whose conduct 
revealed the necessity of " the utmost circumspec- 
tion and attention of His Majesty's servants in 
America, as In the present state of some men's 
dispositions in that country, when one corres- 
pondence of that dangerous tendency is discovered, 
there is reason to apprehend there may be more 
of the same kind."^ 

The recent cession to Spain of the French 
possessions on the Mississippi very naturally sug- 
gested the danger of dealings by the discontented 
colonists with Spain. The idea of any independ- 
ent resistance was not at that time familiar in 

The Lake Superior country at this time 
assumed a temporary importance. Alexander 
Henry, on his second journey, examined the 
mineral country, which had been known long 
before to the French, though not worked. In 
1768, Hillsboro' informed Sir William Johnson 

1 He raise! a corps of American Tories called the Queen's Rangers, 
and after he went to England (about 1777) he was succeeded in it? com- 
mand by Simc(je, who was afterwards Governor of Upper Canada, nnd 
bitterly hostile to the United States. — See Caimiff's Scit'cnicut oj Upper 
Canada, /. 71. 

2 Hillsboro' to Sir W. Johnson, 8 N. Y Doc, 36. 


that an application had been made for a grant 
of all the lands within 60 miles of Lake Superior, 
and desired him to report on the subject.' His 
report has not, it is believed, been published, but 
Henry seems to have gone on his second expe- 
dition to explore for copper, and was probably in 
the scheme. He visited the east shore of the 
lake, and examined Michipicoten and Caribou 
Islands. At Point Iroquois, on his return, his 
companion, Mr. Norburg, of the 60th Regiment, 
found a semi-transparent blueish stone of eight 
pounds weight, which, on assay, produced sixty 
per cent, of silver. It was deposited in the 
British Museum. A mining company, consisting 
of several noblemen and other prominent men, 
including Sir William Johnson and Alexander 
Henry, opened a mine on the Ontonagon River, 
and did some work ; but the inconvenience of 
access and other difficulties led to its abandon- 
ment. The great copper boulder" which Henry 
had visited in 1 766, and from which he had cut 
with an axe a piece weighing 100 pounds, was 
the attraction which led to the enterprise. It 
was an object of superstition among the Indians, 
who never disturbed articles left on it. 

1 8 N. Y. Doc, 92. 

2 This was about thirty years ago taken to Washington by Julius 
Eldred, of Detroit, and it is now in the possession of the Government. 
Several masses much larger have since been taken from the mines, but 
this is the largest mass ever found as a boulder at a distance from any 
mining ground. 


As no such grant was ever set up afterwards, 
and as the Indian title was not extinguished till 
within the last forty years, it is probable nothing 
was obtained beyond a license. The ideas of 
these early speculators were not limited by mod- 
erate bounds. The tirst attempt to get access 
to the mines in our day was in 1822, when a 
company of persons in New |ersey sought to get 
a grant of 40,000 acres of the same lands, to be 
selected in parcels and not in one tract, at a 
rent to be fixed at that time.' The proposition 
was not accepted. 

The Mackinaw settlement was long without 
any great importance. The post had become less 
valuable than in the clays of the French. At 
Detroit, although some of the people had gone 
westward, there was a steady but slow increase, 
and the inventories of estates show that domestic 
animals were abundant. By confounding the 
estimates of the people within the fort with those 
of the settlement, some confusion and apparent 
contradictions have arisen. The settlement, as 
early as 1774, extended on both sides of the 
river, for several miles above and a few miles 
below the fort. Although no Indian land grants 
were lawful, vet as before mentioned, several were 
connived at. The Potawatamie village and 
cemetery, then below, but now within Detroit, 
were conveyed by that tribe to Robert Navarre 
the younger, and Isidore Chene, on the charge 

» 4 St. Papers, Pub. Lands, 341. 



that the several grantees should dwell there and 
care for the dead. The Navarre sale was approved 
by Major Bassett, in 1772. That to Chene was 
sanctioned by Lieutenant Governors Hamilton (in 
1776), and Sinclair (in 1781.)' In 1774, Major Bas- 
sett, on the complaint of the inhabitants that their 
lands were encroached upon, appointed James 
Sterling to survey them, and directed that his sur- 
veys should be conclusive. The people, since the 
Pontiac war, had not been disturbed, and many who 
had before lived in the fort were now dwelling on 
their estates. 

The King's Receiver collected the same dues 
which had before accrued to the French Govern- 
ment for annual rents and fines of alienation. 
Captain Turnbull in one case (and very likely in 
others) commuted the dues of a farm four arpents 
wide for '" six slay loads of wood, French measure!' 
The traiiieau, drawn by one pony, usually held 
about one-third of a cord, so that this made about 
two cords, in lieu of one bushel of wheat, and four 
livres, two sols, cash or peltries.'' 

The cammission de grand voyer (road commis- 
sioners) had charge of roads and bridges, and 
apportioned the taxes for their support. Where a 
bridge was a private charge, it was allowed to re- 
lieve the owner from other bridge taxes to the 
amount of its expenses. ^ 

In spite of their increasing prosperity, the British 
refused to give the people any government. 

I Wayne Records, A., 256-7. » Id., 116. 3 Id., 158. 


Although Johnson and Shelburne, as well as others, 
had urged it, and the two Franklins were unwearied 
in their efforts, the Board of Trade setded down 
upon the selfish course which was so soon to arouse 
resistance in all the English-speaking colonies. 
Their whole policy was " to prevent manufactures."' 
This they thought '' would not be promoted by these 
new colonies, which being proposed to be estab- 
lished, at the distance of above fifteen hundred miles 
from the sea, and upon places which, upon the 
fullest evidence, are found to be utterly inaccessible 
to.shipping, will, from their inability to find returns 
wherewith to pay for the manufactures of Great 
Britain, be probably led to manufacture for them- 
selves." They meet the argument that such colon- 
ies will raise provisions, in this way. ''The 
present French inhabitants in the neighborhood 
of the lakes, will, in our humble opinion, be suffi- 
cient to furnish with provisions whatever posts may 
be necessary to be condnued there ; and as there 
are also French inhabitants settled in some parts of 
the country, lying upon the Mississippi, between the 
Rivers Illinois and the Ohio, it is to be hoped that a 
sufficient number of these may be induced to fix 
their abode, where the same convenience and 
advantage may be deriyed from them. ^' •"•= * 
The setdements already existing, as above described, 
which being formed under military establishments, 
and ever subject to military authority, do not, in our 
humble opinion, require any further superintendence 

I Mills, 30. 


QUEBEC ACT. [Chap. Vll. 

than that of the miHtary officers commanding at 
these posts."' 

The necessity of conciHating that part of the 
Province which was well settled, and had been 
before under laws and civil institutions, led to the 
enactment, in 1774, of the Quebec Act, whereby, 
ostensibly, the whole country was to be assured 
these privileges. It was delusive everywhere, and 
the Historian Garneau finds a lack of words to 
express his indignation at the course pursued under 
it.^ By our Declaration of Independence it was 
denounced as unfavorable to libertv. If the Detroit 
colonists heard of it, it was but as a distant rumor 
of something which did not affect them. No news- 
papers then circulated in the Province, and the 
Michigan colonists, perhaps, would not have seen 
them if they had existed. Nevertheless, stirring 
times were approaching. 

I Mills, ^2. » Garneau, passim. 



In 1774, an act was passed by the British 
Parliament, commonly called the Quebec Act, by 
which the entire British possessions west of New 
York, north of the Ohio, and east of the 
Mississippi River, were incorporated into the 
Province of Quebec, and made subject to its 
government. The laws of Canada, as they had 
been in force before the Conquest, were nominally 
made the rule of decision in civil matters, and 
the English law in criminal matters; and this has 
been quite generally supposed to be the scope 
and chief design of the statute. If this had been 
so, the strong condemnation of this Act in the 
Declaration of Independence would have been 
exaggerated. It is there described as an act 
" for abolishing the free system of English laws 
in a neighboring province, establishing therein an 
arbitrary government, and enlarging its bounda- 
ries, so as to render it at once an example and 
a fit instrument for introducing- the same absolute 
rule into these colonies." 

Although this statute was smuggled through 
the House of Lords, and urged in the Commons, 
as an act of justice to the Canadians, it was 

154 QUEBEC ACT. (Chap. VIII. 

contrived and really intended to prevent settle- 
ments in the colony, and discourage Englishmen 
from going there, by depriving them of the 
benefit of English law, both civil and criminal. 
Hillsborough and Thurlow had combined to resist 
all new settlements, and when Franklin had at 
last succeeded in obtaining the consent of the 
council to establish a colony south of the Ohio, 
Thurlow contrived to prevent the sealing of the 
order/ When the Quebec Act was sent down to 
the House of Commons, the course of the Minis- 
try was such as would not be tolerated in 
modern times. Burke, Colonel Barre, Fox, and 
many other distinguished men, opposed it bitterly. 
But, before discussing its provisions, calls were 
made on the Government for information and 
documents in the public offices, and tor the 
official opinions of the law officers of the Crown 
on various matters laid before them. This 
information they failed to get. The law officers 
who were summoned before the House refused 
to make any disclosures, on the ground that 
their opinions belonged to His Majesty. Dr. 
Marriott, the civilian, not only refused to make 
disclosures of the tenor of his official reports, but 
treated the other questions put to him in a 
strain of impertinence not often parallelled. The 
opposition succeeded in correcting a few defects, 
and in procuring for the inhabitants a right to 
make wills according to either English or French 
law. But beyond this they had no success. 

1 5 Bancroft, 47. 

Chap. VIII.] QUEBEC ACT 155 

The Statute, while estabHshing nominally the 
Canadian and English law, as furnishing rules of 
decision in civil and criminal cases respectively, 
made no attempt to determine what were to be 
deemed the old laws of Canada, although there 
had been much dispute upon that subject. Chief 
Justice Hay, of Canada, who was a witness before 
the House, admitted he knew nothing about the 
French law ; and when an objection was made 
to the act that it put all the existing judges out 
of office, it was answered by an assurance that 
they would be continued. The whole legislative 
power was put in the hands of the Governor, 
(and in his absence the Lieutenant Governor or 
Commander-in-Chief) and a council of not less 
than seventeen nor more than twenty-three, all 
appointed by the Crown, whose acts might be 
reviewed by the King in council. All the ordin- 
ances of the Province, whether under French or 
British authority, were annulled.* No provision 
was made for a future assembly, except as a 
possibility. Ordinances of the new legislative 
board extending imprisonment be3^ond three 
months were to require the Royal approval, but 
there was no limit to .the imposition of fines or 
forfeitures. No provision was made for the 
regulation of courts, which were left entirely at 
the pleasure of the King, to create* and regulate 
as he chose. An attempt to introduce a right to 
the writ of habeas corpus was opposed by the 
Ministry, and defeated. The claim that a repre- 

156 QUEBEC ACT. [Chap. Vlll. 

sentative legislature should be introduced, was 
resisted on the orround that there were less than 


four hundred Englishmen in the Province, and 
that although the French population had become 
numerous, the idea that they should have any 
such civil rights was preposterous. They were 
spoken of as if they had no claim to be regarded 
as British subjects, but only as a conquered peo- 
ple holding all their privileges by favor. When 
Lord Mansfield was attacked by Lord Camden 
for his course in sustaining the bill, as incon- 
sistent with his former advocacy of the rights of 
the Canadians, he practically recanted his old 
assertions, and went all leno-ths with Thurlow. 
Mansfield, with all his ability as a judge, was no 
friend to freedom. The House of Lords, on the 
return of the amended bill from the Commons, 
was compelled to listen to Chatham and Camden, 
who with sound law and manly eloquence 
denounced the atrocious measure, and were 
answered with nothing better than the impudent 
audacity ot men who cared nothing for colonial 
liberty, or fior any human rights beyond the four 
seas. Even Ireland was pressed into the service, 
to show that Canada was treated in the same 
way, and that there were already places under 
the control of the Government where the writ of 
habeas coTp7is was denied. 

It was soon made manifest that Canada was to 
be governed by unmixed Royal prerogative, and 
used to annoy the other colonies. The control of 


Indian affairs was taken awa)- entirely from the 
English-speaking colonies, and centred in Quebec. 
Judges were appointed who had no knowledge of 
French law, and the Governor and Council showed 
no desire to supply the deficiencies of the Act. Sir 
Guy Carleton, afterwards Lord Dorchester, was 
much respected, but not calculated to manage civil 

Within a few months repeated protests and peti- 
tions came to Eno^land from the British and French 
people of the Province, but when they reached 
official custody they were laid aside without notice. 

When Lord Camden presented such a petition 
in the House of Lords, he was much abused lor 
doing so, and the Lords on the Government benches 
admitted that they had received and suppressed 
such documents, and insisted he had no right to 
introduce it. Chatham and Camden labored zeal- 
ously for the repeal of the Quebec Act, and claimed 
that its mischief had now become palpable. But 
they failed, and their bill was defeated, after a hard 
fight in both houses. It is stated that an intimation 
was given to the petitioners, (who especially de- 
manded an assembly and habeas corpus,) that the)' 
might have what they chose if they would allow the 
principle to be maintained that Parliament had an 
unlimited right of legislation over the colonies. 
This principle apparently was not manifest to the 
petitioners. In the original Quebec Act, as it went 
down to the Commons, the right in the colonial 
authorities to levy any taxes whatever was pro- 


hibited. In the Commons an amendment was ob- 
tained, allowing the council to impose such taxes as 
the inhabitants of the various local districts should 
vote for roads, buildings, and other local purposes ; 
but this was all. 

It is a matter worth recording that at the head 
of the Quebec committee on the principal petition, 
which was signed by nearly every leading person of 
British origin in Quebec and Montreal, stands the 
name of Zachary Macaulay. This patriotic gentle- 
man, from his peculiar name, must have been a 
kinsman of the able man who afterwards became 
one of the principal supporters, if not the origina- 
tor, of the movement against the slave trade, and 
was a friend and counsellor of Clarkson and Wil- 
berforce, and the other " wise men of Clapham," 
who were always on the side of free institutions. 
The fame of that second Zachary Macaulay has 
been overshadowed by that of his eminent son, 
Lord Macaulay, the historian. His relationship to 
the Quebec merchant is not known. 

Although in the lower parts of the Province, 
where the settlements were more dense, the system 
of government assumed an external appearance ot 
legal formality, no attempt or pretence was made to 
relieve the western region from martial law. A 
lieutenant governor was sent to Detroit, who had 
almost, if not quite, absolute authority. Henry 
Hamilton was first appointed in that capacity, and 
he arrived at Detroit in 1775. The old system was 
to terminate May i, 1775. It was not till 1788 that 


any courts whatever were established in Upper 
Canada. In that year, on the 24th of July, Lord 
Dorchester, by proclamation, created four districts 
in Upper Canada. The District of Hesse embraced 
all the country west of Long Point, on Lake Erie ; 
and as Detroit was still retained in British posses- 
sion, it came within the jurisdiction of that district.' 
The courts were called Courts of Common Pleas, 
being courts of record, with a clerk and sheriff 
Their jurisdiction was plenary, with no appeal unless 
to the Governor and Council. 

These judges were not bred to the law, as there 
were no lawyers in Upper Canada until 1794. They 
were generally men of wealth and influence, and in 
civil matters their judgments were probably just. 
They knew nothing of criminal law, and banished, 
imprisoned, whipped or pilloried, such unlucky cul- 
prits as were convicted before them. It is errone- 
ously stated by Canniff that the first person hanged 
in Upper Canada was convicted before fudge Cart- 
wright, of the Mecklenburg District.^ The honor 
(or dishonor) of that judicial exploit belongs to 
Judge Dejean, although there were perhaps some 
court-martial capital convictions before. 

These lay officials of all ranks in the remote 
districts magnified their office. The Wisconsin 
annals contain many curious anecdotes of one 
Reaume, who in early dmes had a commission as 
justice of the peace at Green Bay, which is said 
(perhaps incorrecdy) to have run through various 

' Canniflf, 506. 2 Cannifi; 50S. 



regimes without renewal, and to have served as a 
support for judicial powers at discretion. An an- 
cient settler,' in his reminiscences, speaks of it as 
rather creditable to Judge Reaume, that he never 
inflicted capital punishment. In emulation of the 
great Oriental potentates, but lacking a signet, he 
summoned parties before him by sending his jack- 
knife, in lieu of process ; and no one who saw the 
symbol ventured to disobey. His judgments were 
also Oriental. Where specific duties had been 
violated, he granted specific performance. In other 
cases, he served the ends of justice by requiring the 
party or parties in fault, (for sometimes he gave 
judgment against both,) to furnish him a supply of 
wood, or work in his garden. As, during his long 
term of service, he was within the jurisdiction of 
Michigan, we can safely claim the fame of this 
worthy magistrate for our own glory, whereof pars 
magna fuit. He has not been without followers in 
our State county courts, when for a few years the 
Law Reformers assumed the mantle of Jack Cade, 
and tried causes by the light of nature. A very 
upright magistrate of this stamp, some twenty-five 
or thirty years ago, having a culprit before him, 
charged with larceny, of which there was no 
proof, deemed it his duty, nevertheless, to convict 
him ; because, though innocent of the charge in 
question, he had committed depredations on the 
judge^s woodpile, and thereby disturbed the peace 
and dignity of the State of Michigan. 

I Grignon's Narrative. 


The Common Pleas Judges of Detroit were 
usually educated and intelligent gentlemen, whose 
decisions received and deserved respect. It was 
not remarkable that such of them as were of 
F'rench extraction, and entirely ignorant of British 
law, should commit blunders and exceed their 
powers. These latter have not generally been 
guilty of intentional wrongs, but it w^as a long 
time before they had the means of knowing any- 
thing about legal matters, and under martial law 
they went very far. 

The first Judge of Common Pleas for the 
District of Hesse was the Honorable William 
Dummer Powell, whose reputation has not been 
questioned. He was appointed in 1789, and 
assumed his functions in 1790. It is supposed 
the office had been declined by some previous 
appointee,' (conjectured to have been W'illiam 
Robertson,) as all the other judges, and the clerk 
of Hesse, were appointed in 1788. Gregor 
McGregor of Detroit was appointed by Lord 
Dorchester sheriff, and Thomas Smith of the 
same place, as clerk and commissioner of the 
peace, on the 24th day of July, 1 788, the day 
when the districts were created.^ Thomas Smith 
according to General Cass, w'as in 1 794 captain 
of a company of militia associated with the Indians, 
when Wayne routed them before the British fort 
at Maumee, and was killed in that battle.^ 

I Canniff, 507. 2 Wayne Records, C.,380. 3 Cass, Historical Lecture. 



The court held its first session in 1790, and 
an execution sale of lands (an innovation on the 
common law) was made by Sheriff McGregor, 
under a judgment rendered in August, 1790/ 

But this is anticipating. Until the action of 
the Governor General, in 1788, the Detroit settle- 
ment and its dependencies, including all the 
western posts, remained without any civil govern- 
ment. Although the preamble of the Quebec 
Act gave as a reason for its enactment the fact 
that, under the King's Proclamation of 1763, there 
were several colonies and settlements which had 
been left without any provision for civil govern- 
ment, neither the act itself, nor the administration 
under it, made any approach toward such a 
provision, until five years after the Treaty of 
Peace of 1783 had rendered the retention of 
possession of Detroit by the British a wrongful 
and arbitrary usurpation. 

Accordingly we find Mr. Dejean continuing in 
his old functions. As he kept the public records, 
any new appointments would probably have been 
recorded as carefull)- as the old ones. He was 
evidently one of those men who had qualities 
which made him useful, and possibly gave him 
the means of securing himself against opposition. 
In October, 1774, he used the public records in 
his custody to perpetuate an apology from George 
Meldrum,^ for some abusive language used by the 

I Wayne Records, C, 380. 2 Id., A., 278. 


latter at a public assembly, and for which he 
declared his regret as having been the result of 
intoxication. What the particular charges were 
which the wine unloosed, does not appear, nor is 
anything said of their falsehood, but it is plain 
it was not safe to offend Mr. Dejean. 

In March, 1775, occurs a curiousTTtlstration 
of the limits of his judicial powers under his old 
commission to the presidency of a board of 
arbitration. One Francis Milhomme was charged 
by John Peck with having stabbed him in the 
stomach. Thereupon James Sterling, John Porteous, 
(British merchants,) and Duperon Baby and Benoit 
Chapoton, (French citizens,) were chosen arbi- 
trators, but did not agree. William Edgar, having 
been made umpire, gave his opinion, to which the 
rest assented, that Milhomme " do pay unto the 
said John Peck sixty Pounds New York currency, 
and give such security for his future behaviour 
as the Commandant may think proper." Mr, 
Dejean then, as justice of the peace, took 
Milhomme's recognizance with sureties, to keep 
the peace and for his good behavior, reciting 
that he was then detained in prison for the 
offence. The instrument is drawn up in French, 
but is an exact and formal recognizance, answerino- 
precisely to the best precedents. Dejean had 
evidently a good knowledge of legal forms, and 
although, perhaps wisely, he paid no attention to 
that part of his commission which directed him 
to use the Enorlish lanoruao^e, he was well enoug-h 


qualified, so far as intellis^ence went, for his 
position. His records of depositions and legal 
entries, as well as his conveyances, show him to 
have been thoroughly educated. There must have 
been some good reason undisclosed why such a 
man was confined by the earlier commandants to 
the business of a conservator of the peace, and 
allowed no broad powers. So long as Detroit 
remained subject to the rule of the commanding 
ofificer, before the Quebec Act, there was nothing 
made public to indicate that Dejean had done or 
could do anything seriously out of the way. The 
commanders did not venture to trust his discretion. 

In the beginning of June, 1775, for some 
reason or other, the merchants of Detroit found 
it necessary to take steps themselves to prevent 
the sale of rum to the Indians, and they adopted 
very stringent rules to bind themselves, and to 
keep others from transgressing. James Abbott, 
James Sterling, Alexander Macomb, and John 
Porteous, were appointed a committee to enforce 
the rules. A penalty of three hundred pounds 
York currency was imposed for any infraction. 
All questions were to be settled by arbitration, 
and the committee were empowered to distrain 
property to enforce the award. The whole matter 

was carefully kept out of the courts. 


The arrival of the Lieutenant Governor made 
a change in various ways, and the few circum- 
stances which have come to light during this 
period show unmistakable evidence of a more 


arbitrary system. The Boston Port Bill which 
changed the government of Massachusetts, and 
that for trying American offenders in England 
and depriving them of trial by a jury of the 
vicinage, were introduced with the Quebec Bill, 
and as parts of one scheme. The Ministry had 
inaugurated a period of high prerogative. Ham- 
ilton came out prepared to be as tyrannical as 
circumstances might require. Although Detroit 
was not within reach of communication with any 
of the EngHsh common-law setdements, it com- 
manded the whole Indian country, and he was 
ready to use any means to hound on the Indians 
against the American malcontents. In December, 
1775' appears the first and apparendy the only 
case where any one in the setdement came under 
suspicion of disloyalty, and the subsequent exper- 
iences of this gendeman seem to show that, while 
he was probably loyal enough, in the proper 
sense, it was not safe in Detroit to be very plain 
spoken. Garret Graverat, (a name very familiar 
to the old residents of Michigan,) one of the 
Albany traders who setded in Detroit, was, in 
December, 1775, compelled, (so far as appears 
without any complaint or showing,) to give bail 
m four hundred pounds sterling, conditioned that 
he "does not correspond with, carry intelligence 
to, or supply any of his Majesty's Enemies, nor 
does anything Determental to this setdement in 
Pardcular, or against any of his Majesty's good 
subjects, during the space of one year and one 


day," &c. The form of this document is not 
equal to Dejean's own recognizances, although 
nominally taken before him, and it is very com- 
prehensive and open to dangerous construction.' 

On the 1 8th of March, 1776, a transaction 
took place which has been much discussed, and 
was certainly peculiar. It shows Dejean going 
very much beyond his old commission, and it has 
been assumed as the act of an ignorant and 
mulish magistrate, incited or favored by a lieutenant 
governor, careless of law and propriety. Facts 
recently discovered, and not before published, 
show that the proceeding was not a hasty one, 
as it was not one done in ignorance. How far 
they divest it of its supposed atrocity cannot be 
so easily determined. It is evident there is much 
in its unwritten history yet unknown. 

On that day a mixed jury of twelve persons (six 
English and six French) found a special verdict, in 
the form of an inquest, convicting a Frenchman 
named Jean Contencinau, of stealing furs from Ab- 
bott & Finchley, (a commercial firm in Detroit) and 
Ann Wyley, a negro slave, of stealing or being 
accessory to stealing a purse of six guineas 
from the same, found on her person. They 
were both tried for attempting to set fire to 
the house of Mr. Abbott, but as to this the jury 
were not satisfied, although they said the circum- 

> The narrative of Mr. Dodge, of his treatment at Detroit during the 
Revolution, by Hamilton and Dejean, places them in a very unfavorable 


Stances were very strong against the prisoners. Up- 
on this verdict Dejean sentenced them to be hanged 
on the Domain, and this sentence was carried out a 
few days afterwards. Dejean's address to the pris- 
oners has been preserved, and is pubhshed, with the 
verdict, in Lanman's History.^ There is one serious 
error in the translation, which represents him as 
stating Ann Wyley was "accused" of the crime of 
steahng, whereas she was found by the jury to have 
been "accessory" to it, and doubdess this is what 
the judge said. It is said that Carleton and the 
Chief Justice proposed, when they heard of this 
execution, to have both Hamilton and Dejean ar- 
rested and taken to Quebec for trial. If so, the 
stirring times probably interfered to prevent it, for 
both remained in Detroit more than two years un- 
molested. Sir Guy soon left his office for military 
duty, and was succeeded by Haldimand. 

Recent searches have brought to light the result 
of two preliminary examinations of Contencinau 
held by Dejean as justice of the peace ; and it 
appears that, instead of being a summary proceed- 
ing, nearly a year and a half elapsed between 
examinadon and trial, and a much longer time 
between the commission of the offence and the 
conviction. And it also shows either that the ex- 
aminadon was unfair, (and this does not seem 
likely) or that some of the tesdmony failed before 
the trial. Ann Wyley made no confession — or at 
least signed none. Contencinau signed two, or 

1 Pages 133, 134, 135. 



rather affixed his mark. At the second, Captain 
LernoLilt, the commanding- officer, was present, and 
certified that the statement was read to the prisoner 
in his presence, and he confessed to its several 
articles. From this confession it would appear that 
on the 24th of June, 1774, Ann Wyley, who was a 
domestic slave of the house, gave Contencinau a 
cartridge to use in setting fire to the house. He 
took it and wrapped it up with more pow^der in a 
linen cloth, and when the family were at dinner put 
it on a shelf and fired it, and then carried off the 
money-box and gave it to Ann. That evening she 
gave him several dollars in specie and bills, and also 
handed him the casket to burn, which he did. He 
and one Landry both confessed to stealing furs, and 
Contencinau admitted stealing some knives. Jane 
Wassenton, (Washington,) a soldier's wife, testified 
to havinor various articles left with her on false 
pretexts by both Jean and Nancy, and that 
the latter, in sendino- a lot of soiled linen for 
the wash, included some of Jean's shirts, in a 
pocket of one of which she found a green 
purse containing six guineas, which Jean claimed 
he knew nothing about, and charged Nancy 
with concealing there. The last examination was 
November 2, 1774. The evidence was enough to 
put the respondents on trial. The only explanation 
of the delay is that no one was authorized to try a 
prisoner for a capital felony, and Captain Lernoult 
probably did not care to venture on exercising" or 
conferring such a power. Under the Quebec Act, 


the offence could have been punished, If there had 
been any court, or any ascertained venue, tltit 
Detroit was unattached to any county, and there 
were no courts. The delay of a year, from the 
spring of 1775 to that of 1776, was too long to be 
accounted for, except on the idea that Hamilton 
either consulted the authorities at Quebec, or sought 
light from some quarter. As both he and Dejean 
were both afterwards within reach of civil and 
criminal jurisdiction, and not only were not prose- 
cuted, but Hamilton was made Governor General 
of Canada, it may be doubted whether the state- 
ment of their intended arrest was not erroneous. 
The trial was apparendy a fair one, and the jury did 
not convict of arson which was made out on the 
examination. If there was any irregularity, (although 
Ann Wyley could not technically have been held on 
such a finding,) it did not go to the general merits ; 
and the jury was made up of the best citizens of 
Detroit. The punishment was according to our 
notions beyond justice, but it was in accordance 
with the spirit of the laws of England. Dejean's 
address was humane and temperate. It seems 
difficult to believe that after su'ch long delays he 
would have ventured upon an act which he had 
shrunk from before, without some assurance of its 
legality or some powerful prompting ; and the case 
was not otherwise one of public concern. Of course 
the act was illegal, and both he and the Lieutenant 
Governor were liable to punishment for it.' 

' The appointment by the Crown of a special trial commission, would 
have involved creating auxiliary local officers and magistrates, which would 


There is, on the other hand, full reason to regard 
h(m as implicated with Hamilton in his various 
official transactions, and he was evidently a favorite 
and confidant, and probably a very accommodating 
one. He was made Secretary to the Lieutenant 
Governor, and given the only remaining lucrative 
post in the settlement — that of King's Receiver ; so 
that he was at once justice of the peace, judge, 
notary, auctioneer, recorder, receiver of moneys, 
and private secretary. A man must have been very 
virtuous, or very subservient, to get control of all the 
paying public business of the post ; and events 
showed that Mr. Dejean felt safest with his patron. 

There is very little of interest to be learned con- 
cerning the Michigan settlements during the 
revolutionary period. Under the illegal Indian 
grants, which the commandants had found it neces- 
sary or desirable to sanction, (as their own were 
usually much larger than those of private citizens,) 
settlements crept slowly along the great water- 
courses, reaching the St. Clair River to the north and 
the Raisin on the south. Several grants were made 
by the commanders at Mackinaw, on the mainland, 
and on Bois-blanc Island. Grosse He and Hog 
Island, in Detroit River, were granted — the former, 
with some smaller islands near it, to Alexander 
Macomb, and the latter to George McDougall. 

The sentiments of the French settlers towards 
Great Britain were in general loyal. They had no 

have given permanent civil government. While this was promised by the 
implications of the Quebec Act, it was not intended by the Ministry to be 


intimate relations with the American colonies, and 
had never been in the enjoyment of such civil rights 
as made the British rule irksome, merely because 
despotic in form. There were other grievances 
which they felt heavily, but which did not form any 
peculiarly close bond of sympathy with their Amer- 
ican neighbors. The old war with France on this 
continent was conducted effectively by American 
troops, and there had been for a long time a jealousy 
between Canada and the other colonies. One im- 
mediate object of the Congress at Albany, in 1754, 
was to furnish more effective protection against 
French hostilities. But the evident disregard of 
England for the feelings and customs of the Cana- 
dians, the cruel treatment of the Acadians, and 
the haughty insolence which for many years 
after the conquest the original settlers of Cana- 
da had encountered, as if they had no rights in 
the country, did not fail to dampen their attach- 
ment for their new sovereignty, although it failed 
to excite them to rebellion. The greatest evil of 
the French colonial system was its complete 
centralization. Nothing was left to people or com- 
munities ; and however desirous the settlers mio-ht 


have been to assert themselves, they lacked those 
habits of organization which from inheritance and 
usage were instinctive in British and American so- 
ciety. They were brave and manly, but they had 
not learned to make their own leaders. Their dis- 
content impelled them as a body to nothing more 
dangerous than neutrality, and when they went into 

1/2 SENTL\iENTS OF THE PEOPLE. [Chap. Vtlt. 

the military service at all, it was not strange that 
they enlisted under the British flag and fought- with 
spirit. Some care seems to have been taken at 
Detroit to conciliate Frenchmen of influence, and 
commissions in the militia were given to prominent 
citizens. There was no period during the Revolu- 
tion when any success worth mentioning attended 
the efforts of the Americans to conciliate the 
French Canadians, except in Kaskaskia and Vincen- 
nes, although a close alliance was kept up with 
France, and many natives of that country were 
found in our own army as well as amone the auxil- 
iaries. The British residents, as is not unusual in 
colonies, were more bitter and vindictive than any 
other portion ot the King's subjects. If there were 
any American sympathizers in Detroit, their names 
have not come down to us ; unless Garret Graverat 
was one, which is not altogether unlikely. 

Both governments saw from the beginning 
the importance of Detroit. As the influential 
centre of all Indian affairs, whoever occupied it 
controlled their movements. The settlement of 
Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, by Americans, was sure 
to lead sooner or later to a control over the 
remainder of the Northwest. If the Americans 
secured their independence, those countries, if 
settled at all, would become American States. 

Ihe British could only secure their dominion 
in this region by preserving it as a wilderness. 
The plan was early adopted of depopulating so 
much of the western country as was settled by 


Americans, and of keeping off inhabitants by 
rendering it unsafe for them to go there. I JeUber- 
ately and remorselessly the plans were laid to 
excite the Indians to indiscriminate slaughter, and 
from 1775 to 1814 the tribes were urged on and 
stirred up by British commanders or emissaries 
against the American settlements. Men who 
were usually reasonable and humane in their own 
transactions, felt no compunction against inciting 
the savages to the worst cruelties; and gentlemen 
and scholars paid rum and money to their brothers 
in ferocity for the scalps of women and children 
slain at their bidding. There are names that no 
American borderer has yet learned to speak, 
without finding it hard to restrain a malediction. 

The Lieutenant Governor of Detroit controlled 
all the western posts. At that time the next in 
importance was Mackinaw. Kaskaskia and 
Vincennes were the only two remaining points of 
prominence. Rocheblave, a Frenchman, com- 
manded at Kaskaskia, and Lieutenant Edward 
Abbott at Vincennes. 

The well-known polic)- of the British Ciovern- 
ment, which drew forth the eloquent invectives of 
Chatham and many other statesmen, was accepted 
by Hamilton without hesitation or reluctance, and 
he readily offered to assume the office of setting 
on the savages. He gained their adhesion and 
aid by the usual methods, and found about him 
emissaries enough to help him. Several raids 
were made upon the settlements in Ohio and 


Kentucky, till at length George Rogers Clark 
set out from Virginia, and began to change the 
face of affairs. It was not long before he captured 
Kaskaskia by surprise and without bloodshed, on 
the fourth of July, 1778. Rocheblave was taken 
to Virginia tas a prisoner of war. His wife 
contrived to conceal or destroy his papers. The 
French people of Kaskaskia, after having their 
fears excited by apocryphal stories of the ferocity 
of the Long Knives, and expecting the fate of 
their Acadian kinsmen, were agreeably surprised 
at meeting very friendly and cordial treatment ; 
and Clark's judicious management secured their 
attachment. By their means Vincennes surrendered 
without a struggle ; and the hostility of the Indians 
in that quarter was quieted. 

The news of this mishap caused some excite- 
ment in Detroit, and Hamilton began preparations 
for raising a force to reconquer the country. He 
finally set out early in October, and Major De 
Peyster, commanding at Mackinaw, sent out Lan- 
glade to go to the head of Lake Michigan and rouse 
up the Indians. Hamilton reached Vincennes about 
the middle of December. At this time, by reason of 
General Mcintosh's failure to do what was expected 
of him. Captain Helm and one soldier made up all 
the garrison. As the army approached it, Helm 
planted a loaded cannon in the gateway, and refused 
to surrender without the honors of war, which were 
granted, and the garrison of one officer and one 
private marched out accordingly. Hamilton now 


dismissed his Indians for the winter, intending in the 
spring to organize a large expedition and sweep 
the borders. 

An expedition against Detroit had been planned 
the same summer, but it was broken up mainly by 
the delays of General iMcIntosh. At the same time 
predatory excursions went out from Detroit. Isi- 
dore Chene (a Detroit Frenchman, and an adopted 
chief among the Indians,) set out with a few Cana- 
dians, and a large body of savages, on a marauding 
expedition, which was conducted in the usual 
fashion. In August they appeared before Boones- 
borough, and demanded a surrender. Boone had 
just returned from an Indian captivity. In February, 
1778, he had been taken by the Indians to Detroit, 
and had been kindly treated there, but the Indians, 
who had taken a fancy to him, refused to let him be 
ransomed. Remembering this, Boone was inclined 
to place some confidence in Chene's promise of fair 
treatment, and agreed to meet him with eight com- 
rades outside of the fort, but under cover of his 
garrison's guns. After terms were made, the 
Indians treacherously endeavored to seize Boone 
and his associates, but the marksmen shot down the 
leaders, and they crot back safelv throuo-h a cross- 
fire into the fort, from which the assailants, after a 
siege of ten days, and such a waste of ammunition 
that the garrison picked up 125 pounds of their bul- 
lets, retired with considerable loss. 

Clark, having learned Hamilton's plans, did 
not wait for spring, but started for Vincennes on 


the 7th of February, with 1 76 men, partly French 
volunteers. The country was almost impassable, 
and no thought of clanger entered the mind of 
the Governor. On the 23rd of February, Clark, 
whose men had marched several miles throu^-h 
water, appeared before the town and began the 
attack. It was kept up until the next morning, 
with no loss to the Americans, who kept well 
under cover, and, being good marksmen, picked 
off the gunners through the ports. At nine on 
the morning of the 24th, Clark demanded an un- 
conditional surrender, in very explicit and not al- 
together civil terms. Refusing to grant a truce, 
he agreed to meet Hamilton at the church, about 
eighty yards from the fort, who came there with 
Major Hay. Clark through this interview adhered 
to his demands, and gave as a reason, when 
asked, that as the principal Indian partisans from 
Detroit, including Major Hay, were with Hamilton, 
and as their course had been so atrocious, he 
would on no account give up the right to deal 
with them as he saw fit. The capitulation was 
made that afternoon. Clark during the parley 
had become more favorably impressed with 
Hamilton, and consented to better terms. A few 
days thereafter, a company from Detroit of forty 
men under command of Mr. Adhemar, with 
supplies and despatches for Hamilton, was captured 
on the Wabash. Dejean was with them, having 
gone, it is said,' to obtain means of justifying 
himself for his judicial excesses before mentioned. 

I C. I. Walker's Address. 


Thomas Williams was 'acting in Dejean's 
offices of justice and recorder in March, about 
the time of his capture, probably by appointment 
of the local commander, but if Dejean was under 
censure — possibly from superior authority. 

A part of the prisoners were discharged 
on the usual terms, and returned to Detroit. 
Hamilton, Hay, Dejean, (who figures as Grand 
Judge of Detroit,) Lamothe, an officer in the 
Indian Department, and Jonathan Schiefflin, with 
a few others, were taken to Virginia. Hamilton, 
Hay, Dejean and Lamothe, were put in irons. The 
rest were paroled. The severity exercised towards 
the former, was because they had been especially 
responsible for Indian atrocities, and had offered 
rewards for scalps instead of prisoners. Governor 
Jefferson and the Virginia Legislature refused to 
exchange them or mitigate their treatment, which 
Washington admitted was richly deserved, although 
he urged its relaxation on other grounds. Finally 
they were released from their irons, and Lamothe 
and Dejean having given the somewhat stringent 
parole demanded of them, (which General W^ash- 
ington said was the same required of our officers,) 
were allowed to go to New York. Dejean rtevet 
came to Detroit again. Hay and Hamilton, after 
holding out a long time, finally gave their parole 
also, and were released. Hamilton said afterwards 
that this imprisonment continued twenty-two 

^ Wayne Record, C , p. 392. 




During Hamilton's absence in Vincennes, the 
fort at Detroit was in command of Major R. B. 
LernoLilt, (sometimes erroneously written Le Noult,) 
who, anticipating an attack from below, built a 
new fort on the rising ground then called the 
second terrace, (between Griswold and Wayne, 
Congress and Michigan Avenues,) which remained 
until about 1827. This was called Fort Lernoult, 
until the Americans changed its name to Fort 

Major De Peyster, of Mackinaw, sent out in 
the spring of 1779 a second expedition to join 
Hamilton in Illinois, but his capture foiled it, and 
that country remained in American hands there- 
after. Had it not been for this, the boundary 
might have been fixed at the Ohio instead of the 

De Peyster was sent to Detroit to succeed 
Hamilton, but was not made Lieutenant Governor. 
The only others who held that title were Patrick 
Sinclair, De Peyster's successor at Mackinaw, 
and John Hay. From this time on, although the 
forays continued with unabated fury through the 
Revolution, the Indians were encouraged to bring 
in live prisoners. 

Major Arent Schuyler De Peyster, who came 
to Detroit in 1779, was a man of some distinction, 
and although on some occasions very arbitrary, 
was undoubtedly a good officer. In one respect 
his course was open to criticism. The largest 
number of Indian grants ever made at one time 

Chap. VIII.] De PEVSTER. 179 

during the legitimate British possession, were 
made in July, 1 780, soon after his arrival ; and 
the largest one of those (of 5,000 acres) was 
made to himself Many years afterwards he 
relinquished it to a nephew, but it was so plainly 
illegal that it was not respected. He also made 
some large concessions of public property without 
legal right, to Captain Bird and others. From 
the numerous indications of his character, appear- 
ing in records and elsewhere, the general inference 
is favorable. He had some literary pretensions, 
was a bon vivant, patronized liberally the card- 
parties, balls and assemblies, and was very happy 
in his domestic relations, though childless. On 
occasion he performed the duties of chaplain, and 
in that capacity married Thomas Williams (father 
of Gen. John R. Williams) to Miss Cecilia Campau, * 
on the 7th of May, 1781. John Kirby, of Grosse 
Pointe, was baptized by one of the commanding 
officers, and this is said not to have been an 
uncommon occurrence. Whether Major (then 
Colonel) De Peyster performed this rite also does 
not appear, but it is quite likely. In many respects 
one is reminded, in considering him, of a modern- 
ized and slightly toned down Baron of Bradwar- 
dine. In his latter days he retired to Dumfries, 
where, in 1796, he commanded the volunteers 
among whom Burns was enrolled, — the "awkward 
squad" whom he did not wish to fire over his 
grave. Very kindly relations existed between the 
veteran and the poet, * who addressed and dedi- 



cated one of his latest poems to his old friend 
and commander. 

He was unquestionably arbitrary in his official 
dealings, but probably no more so than his own 
predecessors, who did pretty much as they pleased. 
In the summer of 1783, upon the application of 
one Cuyler, who came on from the east to collect 
a claim of Garret Graverat, De Peyster com- 
pelled the latter to turn over to Cuyler more 
than ten thousand dollars worth of furs and other 
property belonging to the firm of Graverat 
& Visgar and their late partner Colin Andrews, 
under duress of being sent down immediately by 
boat to the lower country. Graverat, to prevent 
the ruin of his Detroit business, submitted ; but 
entered a formal sworn protest on the public 
records. As De Peyster, when he retired, went 
abroad, there was no opportunity to hold him 
responsible in the American or colonial courts ; 
but it was an atrocious act of tyranny, done with- 
out even a hearing, and with profane threats 
unbecomiho^ an officer. As the existence of the 
treaty of peace must have been known before 
this time, and the exercise of extreme and sum- 
mary violence was as much against English as 
against American law, such conduct can only be 
accounted for on personal grounds ; and the ex- 
planation must probably be found in Graverat's 
being obnoxious to the commander. If he was an 
American in feeling, the success of the American 
arms, and the annexation of Michigan to the 


United States, might very naturally have embit- 
tered such a fierce loyalist as De Peyster ao-ainst 

In 1778 there is a record of quite as summary 
an order by Lieutenant Governor Hamilton, stop- 
ping the sale of a negress whose ownership was 
questioned, and sending her to Rocheblave at Kas- 
kaskia to have the matter examined, instead of 
having it tried in Detroit. 

In 1780, Captain Bird's famous expedition set 
out southward, and among other depredations, des- 
troyed several Kentucky setdements. This was 
organized at great expense, under orders of Gen- 
eral Haldimand, who had succeeded Sir Guy 
Carleton in his command of the Province. The 
expenses of outfit at Detroit alone were nearly or 
quite $300,000. Bird found it difficult to restrain 
the Indians, who made complete work ; and it is 
supposed that motives of humanity induced him to 
suspend going further. The inhabitants were made 
Indian prisoners, and stripped of all their posses- 
sions. In August, 1784, Bird, in selling a mulatto 
woman, warranted his title by stating that at 
Martin's Fort she was among the booty captured by 
the Indians, and- given to him afterwards by the 

This expedition was accompanied by Detroit 
militia, commanded by Chabert De Joncaire, Jona- 
than Schiefflin, Isidore Chene, and others. 

This aroused great excitement in the United 
States, and various plans were proposed to send 


expeditions under Brodhead and Clark to capture 
Detroit. Clark was very anxious to undertake it, 
but the invasion of Virginia by Cornwallis suspend- 
ed these side issues, and nothing effective was done. 
During the various Indian expeditions, and 
other frontier warfare, there had been some diffi- 
culty in keeping all the tribes contented under 
the British control, and all sorts of expedients 
were resorted to, in order that this might be 

Not long before the Revolution, David Zeis- 
berger, an eminent Moravian missionary, with 
Heckewelder and some others, founded missions 
on the Muskingum at Schonbrunn, Lichtenau and 
Gnadenhutten, and the converts, particularly among 
the Delawares, were numerous. Colonel Alex- 
ander McKee, Matthew Elliott, and Simon Girty, 
made repeated attempts to induce these Indians 
to join the British and fight against the Amer- 
icans, but without success. The Detroit Hurons 
were no more successful in their efforts to per- 
suade or frighten them, although the Delaware 
chiefs were wavering. The English agents 
persuaded Governor Hamilton that the mission- 
aries were acting as spies in the American 
interest, and he became very much incensed, and 
made threats, which the emissaries used to influence 
the chiefs against them. One of the chiefs, Cap- 
tain Pipe, was at last cajoled into declaring for 
the English, and the tribe became divided. When 
De Peyster was in c'ommand, Elliott persuaded 


him, by representations that Captain Pipe had 
denounced the missionaries, to send a force 
under ElHott to capture them and bring them 
in. After much suffering, they reached Sandusky, 
whence Captain Pipe was to bring them to 
Detroit. During this whole journey they com- 
plained especially of the affronts and injuries 
received from Simon Girty. Pipe being on a 
drunken frolic, the missionaries started for 
Detroit ahead of him on the 25th of October, 
1 78 1. The winter was early, and the country 
through the Black Swamp, and round the head 
of the lake, was nearly impassable ; but after 
much labor and exposure they reached Detroit. 

Their reception by De Peyster was very 
ungracious, and he put off their hearing for sev- 
eral days. They were kindly sheltered by Mr. 
Tybout, a French inhabitant, and received atten- 
tion and courtesies from others. On the 9th of 
November, they were confronted with Captain 
Pipe before the Commandant, when the chief 
expressed himself very bitterly concerning the 
manner in which he had been urged on by the 
English to join them, and completely denied all 
the stories against the missionaries, who had 
studiously avoided any conduct which could favor 
either side, and had endeavored to preserve the 
Indians from hostilities. De Peyster was finally 
satisfied, and thereafter was very kindly disposed 
and aided them liberally. Having returned to 
Sandusky, they were subjected to renewed threats 

184 NEW GNADENHUTTEN. [Chap. Vtll. 

and indignities from Girty. De Peyster sent 
word to bring them back to Detroit, but to treat 
them kindly; and in April, 1782, they came back 
under escort. The Commandant told them he 
had taken this course for their safety, and offered 
to give them means of returning to the central 
mission at Bethlehem, or to allow them to remain. 

They decided to remain, if they and their 
flock could settle near Detroit. By arrangement 
with the Chippewas, dwelling on the Clinton (then 
known as the Huron) River, about twenty miles 
northeast of Detroit, they fixed their colony near 
the mouth of that stream, a few miles from Lake 
St. Clair. De Peyster contributed such outfit as 
they needed of utensils and provisions, with some 
horses and cattle, his estimable lady also adding 
other useful presents. The Church of England 
"Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 
Foreign Parts " sent them a draft for one hundred 
pounds sterling, which was a very timely gift. 
On the 2 1 St of July, 1782, Zeisberger and Jung- 
man, (married missionaries with their families,) 
and Edwards and Jung, (unmarried missionaries,) 
with some white families, including that of Rich- 
ard Connor, and several Indian converts, reached 
their new refuge, and solemnly in prayer conse- 
crated it to the service of the Lord, under the 
name of Gnadenhutten, in memory of their old 
home on the Muskingum. It was usually called 
New Gnadenhutten. In August they had com- 
pleted a village, consisting of a street of block- 

Chap. VIlI.] COLD WINTER. 185 

houses with substantial outbuildings. De Peyster, 
(now colonel) was an active friend, and Governor 
General Haldimand also befriended them. On 
the 5th of November, 1782, they opened their 
new church. In 1783, the sugar crop was large, 
and the people, white and red, were enabled by 
their hunting and manufacture of wooden wares, 
to keep themselves supplied with all they needed. 
On receiving news of the peace, which reached 
them in May, they endeavored to gather in from 
Ohio more of their Indians, and succeeded quite 
well in doinor so. 

By a mistake in the kind of corn which they 
had planted, they lost that crop by early frosts. 
The next winter of 1783-4 was one of the 
severest on record. The ice on Lake St. Clair, 
a mile from shore, was three feet two inches 
thick, and the snow five feet deep. The winter 
of 1874-5 resembled it more closely than any 
year within living memory. The deep snow 
interfered with hunting, and the ice with fishing. 
The winter was a trying one, but they succeeded 
in getting a large quantity of venison from a 
herd that strayed into the neighborhood, and 
with the surplus of this they purchased corn. In 
the spring they made sugar, and caught an abund- 
ance of fish, and, when the snow melted, gathered 
quantities of cranberries. Detroit furnished a 
ready market for all they could spare. 

A straight road had been run for their accom- 
dation from Tremble's mill, on Tremble's (now 

186 GOVERNOR HAY. [Chap. Vlll. 

Connor's) Creek, to the Moravian village, thus very 
much shortenino^ the otherwise longr and round- 
about lake shore road. This was the first inland 
road made in Michigan. 

In May, 1784, they came to Detroit to bid fare- 
well to Colonel De Peyster, who was about depart- 
ing, and who commended them to Governor Hay, 
(Hamilton's companion,) who had just been sent 
out to take charge of the post. Hay had recently 
been in England, where the case of the mission- 
aries had received attention, and he had been 
directed to encourage them. As this was a year 
after the peace, and before any serious controver- 
sies, it indicates pretty clearly the insincerity of the 
British Government in regard to their treaty obli- 
gations to quit the post. 

Governor Hay died the same summer, having 
had no time to make any mark on the settlement. 
His character was respected. He left a family 
of three sons, one of whom, Henry Hay, be- 
came an * officer in the British Army, and was 
stationed at Detroit in the last British com- 
mand. The writer Was many years ago informed, 
by a family connection of Governor Hay, that his 
remains were first buried behind and near the 
Chateau or Governor's House, on the corner of 
Jefferson Avenue and Griswold Street, and after- 
wards removed by the informant to the new ceme- 
tery, established in 1827, and placed in the Catholic 
portion of that ground. That cemetery has now 
been vacated, and probably there has been another 



Major William Ancrum succeeded to the com- 
mand. By this time the Moravian town had become 
a neat and pleasant village, well laid out and sub- 
stantially built, with considerable clearings. The 
Chippewas, however, were getting tired of agri- 
cultural neighbors, and the setders determined to 
move to some other place. They went from New 
Gnadenhutten to the south side of Lake Erie, 
whence, in 1 790, a large number moved over into 
Upper Canada, and settled on the Thames River, 
near the battlefield where Harrison defeated Proc- 
tor, in 18 1 3. Richard Connor and his family re- 
mained behind, and kept their farm. His sons, 
Henry, William and James, became prominent 
citizens. Henry Connor was a noted interpreter, 
(known as Wabishkindibe, or White Hair,) in 
whom Indians and whites placed implicit confidence, 
which he fully deserved. He was a very upright 


In 1788, Ancrum and John Askin, who had been 
kind to the missionaries, and who claimed to have 
purchased out their rights for a sufficient considera- 
tion, obtained from the Chippewas a grant of 
24,000 acres, including 'the Moravian town and a 
large tract besides. Askin subsequently testified 
that there were more than twenty houses and their 
outbuildings, and that the Moravian road had been 
built by himself and Ancrum, with some help from 
the Moravian Indians. Askin and his son, with 
one John Cornwall, obtained also a Chippewa 
grant of twenty-four miles long by two leagues 


wide, Including that road, and a league in breadth 
on each side of it. These grants were made after 
the treaty of 1783, and were in violation of the 
British and American laws, and were disallowed. 
Connor and some neiofhbors were confirmed In their 
claims to single farm holdings, as actual settlers. 

After Patrick Sinclair went to Mackinaw, and 
toward the close of the Revolution, he made prepa- 
rations for removing the fort from the main land to 
the Island of Michillmackinac, for which he obtained 
the consent of the tribe of Chippewas in occu- 
pancy. The new fort was occupied in 1783. 

By the preliminary treaty of peace of Novem- 
ber 30, 1782, It was unconditionally agreed that 
" His Britannic Majesty shall, with all convenient 
speed, and without causing any destruction, or car- 
rying away any negroes, or other property of the 
American inhabitants, withdraw all his armies, gar- 
risons and fleets from the said United States ; and 
from every part, place and harbor within the same ; 
leaving in all fortifications the American artillery 
that may be therein ; and shall also order and 
cause all archives, records, deeds and papers be- 
longing to any of the said States, or their citizens, 
which In the course of the war may have fallen Into 
the hands of his officers, to be forthwith restored 
and delivered to the proper States and persons to 
whom they belong." And by further articles It 
was, January 20, 1783, agreed that In all places 
without exception, (unless when a shorter term was 
specified,) five months should be the utmost term of 



hostilities, or for the validity of hostile acts. Notice 
was received in Detroit in May, 1783, if not earlier. 
The final treaty of September, 1783, recognized 
and adopted ■ the preceding- action from its original 

General Washington was persuaded, and de- 
clared from the first, that the British Government 
were not acting in good faith in this matter. In 
August, 1783, when Baron Steuben was sent to 
Governor General Haldimand to demand posses- 
sion of the western forts, he was not only refused, 
but was not even permitted to visit them ; and the 
Governor declined in any way to facilitate or ex- 
pedite the business. His course towards Steuben 
was reported by the latter as uncivil. He wrote to 
General Washington a letter, respectful in form, in 
which he excused himself for the refusal on the 
ofround that he had received no orders from His 
Majesty. New York was evacuated on the 25th 
of November, 1783, and the Continental Army was 
disbanded. Great Britain never notified the 
Governor of Canada, or any one else, to give up 
the western posts, and they were retained, in spite 
of protests and remonstrances, until the breaking 
out of the French Revolution, and the prospect of 
further wars, made it expedient to surrender them. 
But during nearly all this period, and especially 
from 1 786, the emissaries of Great Britain were 
busy in keeping up a hostile feeling among the 
Indians in the Northwest against the Americans. 

There were, in 1786, and thereafter, some mutual 


grounds of complaint for alleged violations of the 
treaty, but none in 1783, '84 or '85, that were set 
up as solid pretexts for retaining the posts. There 
can be no reason to doubt the conclusion of General 
Washington, that the mother country meant to 
speculate on dissolution, and to retain the unsettled 
country and western forts if she could. In 1 784, it 
would seem, however, that the Canadian Governor 
may possibly have expected to be compelled to 
comply with our demands ; as he removed the pub- 
lic records from Detroit to Quebec, where they 
were retained until Lord Dorchester, in 1789, sent 
out Judge Powell to establish a court. At this lat- 
ter period, it seems to have been assumed that the 
United vStates would be compelled to submit to 
losing the posts. That removal of records was in 
direct violation of the treaty, and the records so 
removed were never put in American custody until 
the present decade, when they were partially res- 
tored, (as far as found,) by order of Her Majesty's 
Government. The responsibility of the British 
authorities for the intentional and unprovoked re- 
tention of the posts does not rest on surmise. On 
nearly every occasion when attempts were made to 
treat with the Indians, they represented they could 
not act without the consent of the Detroit Com- 
mandant. When Brant went to England, after the 
formation ol his confederacy in 1785, he asked an 
explicit assurance that the British would stand by 
him, which Lord Sidney, the Colonial Secretary, 
evaded, but did not discourage. John Johnson, the 


Indian Superintendent, on his 'return, gave him that 
assurance in writing, and impressed upon him very 
strongly not to allow the Americans to come into 
the country, or to approach the posts, saying: "It 
is for your sakes, chiefly, if not entirely, that we 
hold them." -''■ -^ "By supporting them, you encourage 
us to hold them, and encourage the new settlements, 
already considerable, and every day increasing 
by numbers coming in, who find they cannot live in 
the States." Lord Dorchester was more explicit, 
and speaking through Captain Mathews, whom he 
sent to command at Detroit, he expresses regret 
that the Indians have consented to let the Ameri- 
cans make a road to Niagara, but, notwithstanding 
this blameworthy conduct, the Indians shall never- 
theless have their presents, as a mark of approba- 
tion of their former conduct ; and then proceeds : 
" In future his lordship wishes them to act as is best 
for their interests. He cannot begin a war with 
the Americans because some of their people en- 
croach and make depredations upon parts of the 
Indian country ; but they must see it is his lord- 
ship's intention to defend the posts, and that while 
these are preserved, the Indians must find great 
security therefrom, and consequently the Americans 
greater difficulty in taking possession ot their 
lands. But should they once become masters of 
the posts, they will surround the Indians, and ac- 
complish their purpose with little trouble." '•'' ••' ■•• " In 
your letter to me, you seem apprehensive that the 
English are not very anxious about the defence 


of the posts. You will soon be satisfied that 
they have nothing more at heart, provided that 
it continues to be the wish of the Indians, 
and that they remain firm in doing their part 
of the business, by preventing the Americans 
from coming into their country, and conse- 
quently from marching to the posts. On the 
other hand, if the Indians think it more for their 
interest that the Americans should have possession 
of the posts, and be established in their country, 
they ought to declare it, that the English need no 
longer be put to the vast and unnecessary expense 
and inconvenience of keeping posts, the chief 
object of which is to protect their Indian allies, and 
the loyalists who have suffered with them.' 

The proofs are abundant that the British 
depended on the Indians to keep the Americans 
from approaching the forts to get possession, and 
that this was not done for any claims of violated 
treaty, but because they desired to retain the 
western country and its trade for their own pur- 

In 1 784, as before mentioned, a new lieutenant 
governor was sent out to Detroit, and in 1789 it 
was brought under partial civil government. 
This was also, if we may credit the information 
received from our diplomatic agents in England, 
in pursuance of a definite plan whereby Lord 
Dorchester was vested with enlarged powers. 

I Stone's Brant, iii , 271. 


During the period of unlawful possession, there 
was apparently no restraint put on the acquisition 
of Indian grants, and, unless the chiefs were 
ubiquitous, it appears in some cases as if no par- 
ticular care was taken to be sure of their identity. 
Congress had at once, upon the peace, prohibited 
any such purchases. 

Very few facts of local interest are noted 
within the next few years. The Ordinance of 
1787, which furnished a wise constitution for the 
territory northwest of the Ohio, did not become 
practically operative in this region until the 
Americans gained possession. Before that time, 
although no laws passed after the treaty could 
attach except for the time being, yet, so long as 
the country was held by Great Britain, all trans- 
actions were governed by the law of the pos- 

In 1792, Quebec was divided into Upper and 
Lower Canada ; and Colonel John Graves Simcoe 
was made Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada, 
the Governorship General covering both divisions. 
The Quebec Act, so far as it applied to Upper 
Canada, was repealed, as well as all legislation 
under it abrogated. Upper Canada was made a 
common law country, and trial by jury was intro- 
duced in both civil and criminal cases. 


Simcoe, who had commanded during the 
Revolution the Oueen's Ranorers, a reo-iment of 
American tories, first raised by Rogers, and 


somewhat noted for their cruelties, took no pains 
to conceal his sentiments. The Upper Canada 
Legislature established permanent courts in the 
regular way at Detroit and Mackinaw, as posts 
of the Province. In 1 789, provision was made 
for orantine lands in the Province to American 
refugees, and the region lying east of the Detroit 
River and north of Lake Erie was largely 
settled by Dutch tories from New York. The 
result was to excite among the Americans who 
afterwards settled in Michigan a fierce animosity 
against that class of their neighbors, which was 
of long standing. In regard to the other British 
people, the feeling was more kindly, except as to 
the Indian agents and emissaries, who were never 
forgiven for their share in the massacres of the 

The results of St. Clair's disastrous defeat in i 791 
rendered it more difficult to treat with the Indians, 
and their depredations were multiplied. It became 
evident that, unless some peaceable arrangement 
could be made, the American people would be 
obliged to resort to effectual measures to put an 
end to these scenes. The western people had 
desired again and again to be allowed to take mat- 
ters into their own hands. But in this troubled 
period the Governor General, Lord Dorchester, 
and the Lieutenant Governor, Simcoe, went 
great lengths in urging on the Indians, and 
both evidently believed that the time was at 
hand when Great Britain would regain the whole 


Indian country. Negotiations with the Indians 
having failed, General Wayne began his effective 
campaigns. Simcoe not only favored the sav- 
ages, but built a fort in 1794 at the Maumee 
Rapids, and garrisoned it with regular British 
troops. Wayne arrived in the neighborhood in 
August, and on the 20th defeated the Indians and 
their -alHes, driving them under range of the 
guns of the fort, and destroying Colonel McKee's 
stores, and everything else of value up to its very 
walls. The post commander took no part in the 
batde, and the Indians were very much incensed at 
such cold support. Wayne could not, under his 
orders, attack the fort, unless assailed, and the 
British officer in charge had similar orders. Gener- 
al Wayne went as far as he could to induce that 
gendeman to attack him, but without effect. The 
Indians were, however, aided in the fight by a body 
of Canadian militia, under Colonel Baby ; and Sim- 
coe, McKee, Elliott and Girty were not far off. In 
September these four persons held a council at 
Maiden to prevent a peace, and to induce the 
Indians to cede their lands to the British ; promis- 
ing that the latter could then guarantee their pos- 
session, and join in a general attack which would 
sweep the country clean of Americans. Although 
this was aided by presents, and other inducements, 
the Indians were divided, and many of them com- 
plained that the British had urged them on into 
ruinous wars, and had not helped them. 

January 29th, 1795, the tribes made a prelimin- 


ary treaty of peace at Greenville, with General 
Wayne. They appointed the next June, at the 
same place, for the final treaty. The conferences 
lasted through July, all of the chiefs giving and 
receiving full explanations, and laying the previous 
hostilities to the encouragement of the British 
authorities. The treaty was signed on the third of 

In November, 1 794, a treaty had been executed 
between Mr. Jay, as American Minister, and the 
British Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Lord Gren- 
ville, whereby it was agreed the posts should be 
given up on or before June i, 1796. News of this 
reached the country in due time, and at once a last 
effort was made to render it abortive. In 1783, the 
Northwest Fur Company had been organized to 
control the fur trade, not reached by the Hudson's 
Bay Company, and the Detroit traders were all 
interested in keeping the country, as far as possible, 
unsettled. All of Michigan away from the Detroit 
River and the Island of Mackinaw, was a wilderness, 
and so was the adjacent belt of country in northern 
Ohio and Indiana. Between the treaties of January 
and August, grants, or pretended grants, were 
obtained to Jonathan Schiefflin, Jacobus Visgar, 
Richard Pattinson, Robert Innis, Alexander Henry, 
John Askin Senior, John Askin Junior, Robert Mc- 
Niff, William Robertson, Israel Ruland, and John 
Dodemead, of various parcels of land, covering the 
whole country from the Cuyahoga River westward 
to about the centre line of Michigan, and northward 


to Saginaw Bay, including all the land that was then 
supposed possibly available for settlement for ages. 
The time at last came for taking possession. 
The British garrison evacuated the fort some time 
before the Americans arrived, and left it in very bad 
condition, with the wells filled up with rubbish, and 
widi other mischief to the premises. 

General Wayne came with Winthrop Sargent, 
the Secretary and acting Governor of the Northwest 
Territory, and took possession of the fort, putting 
Captain Porter in command. Mackinaw was also 
garrisoned. On the first of July, 1796, Michigan, 
for the first time, became an American possession. 

On his return from this duty. General Wayne 
started eastward, to deal with charges made against 
him by General Wilkinson, who had acted a very 
ungenerous part in striving to belittle the exploits 
of an officer whose fame has been amply vindicated 
by time, and with whom now his assailant's reputa- 
tion will bear no comparison. No one ever had a 
stronger hold on the administration of the western 
people than Mad Anthony, and his memory has not 

The brave soldier, who had escaped the perils of 
many battles, was seized on his way to Erie with a 
violent attack of gout which proved speedily fatal. 
He was buried at Erie. Many years afterwards, 
when his son disinterred the remains to remove 
them to a place among his kindred, the body was 
found uncorrupted and sound as if it had been 

I Burnet. 




The peninsula of Michigan was not allowed to 
pass into American hands without a struggle. It 
was not until two days after the time fixed by 
Jay's Treaty for surrendering the western posts, 
that the Legislature of Upper Canada reluctantly 
passed an act to discontinue holding courts at 
Detroit and Mackinaw. 

In the summer of 1795, when it became cer- 
tain that the execution of the Treaty of Green- 
ville would remove the last obstacle to the posses- 
sion of the country by the Americans, a plan was 
formed by several merchants residing in Detroit 
and in the Parish of Assumption in Canada across 
the river, to secure the control of the Territory, 
by purchasing all the land. To do this it was 
thought necessary to impress upon the minds of 
congressmen the" idea that no reliance could be 
placed on the peaceable disposition of the Indians, 
and that the Detroit merchants were the only 
persons that could control them. Where such 
persuasion failed to produce conviction, a gigantic 


system of bribery was to be used to accomplish 
the desired end. A company, the known western 
members of which were the two Askins, Jonathan 
Schiefflin, Wilham and David Robertson, Robert 
Innis and Richard Pattinson, was ororanized, with 
a proposed stock of forty-one shares, of which 
five were for the Detroit partners, six allotted to 
Ebenezer Allen, of Vermont, and his eastern 
associates, six to one Robert Randall, of Phil- 
adelphia, and his associates, and the remaining 
twenty-four to members of Congress, with the 
understanding that they could take money instead, 
if they preferred it. Ebenezer Allen and Charles 
Whitney, of Vermont, and Robert Randall, of 
Philadelphia, were to deal with the members. 
Randall and Whitney began the task, and 
approached several representatives. They desired 
to obtain from Congress a grant of the whole 
Lower Peninsula of Michigan, for which they 
offered to pay half a million of dollars, or, if need 
be, a million, and to assume the risk of getting 
up the Indian title. 

Among others applied to were Theodore 
Sedgwick, William Smith of South Carolina, Mr. 
Murray of Maryland, William B. Giles of Virginia, 
and Daniel Buck of Vermont. They conferred 
with the President, and by concert all avoided 
exciting the suspicion of the agents, and managed 
to get precise information of the w^hole extent 
and details of the scheme. Mr. Sedgwick was 
entrusted with the memorial, to present it to the 


On the 28th day of December, 1795, these 
gentlemen, after the petition had been presented 
and referred, arose in their places and divulged 
the whole matter to Congress. Randall and 
Whitney, who were the only ones that had 
approached either of them, were arrested, and 
ordered to answer for contempt. Whitney, who 
does not appear to have done much, answered 
fully and was finally discharged. Randall was 
more pugnacious, and was punished by imprison- 
ment. He claimed to have obtained pledges 
from several members, who took no part in expos- 
ing him. The House, with a very ill-judged 
squeamishness, objected to having names of mem- 
bers given, and questions calling for them were 
ruled out. It is sadly to be feared that it was 
not impossible, in those days, for members of 
Congress to be attracted by an operation with a 
certainty of great profit in it. 

Of course^ after this exposure, the scheme 
failed. The Indian purchases before referred to, 
which would have been legalized if Congress had 
made this sale, were no doubt concocted with a 
view to it. That it was not designed to- keep the 
country for American purposes, will appear from 
the fact that, under Jay's Treaty, all the partners 
residing on the American side of Detroit River 
made their election in writing to remain British 
subjects ; and all but Schiefflin afterwards retired 
to Canada. 

It is needless to speculate on the probable 


results of the success of such a scheme. MIchiean 
would never have become a prosperous American 
State, and the whole northwest might have been 
a British Province. No part of the country was 
Americanized for a long time, except the country 
immediately depending on Detroit and Mackinaw. 
The white settlers at the Sault Ste. Marie, and 
about Green Bay, remained attached to the British 
interests, and raised volunteers to aid in the 
capture of Mackinaw in the war of 1812. Mack- 
inaw itself, as appears from the State Papers of 
the United States, was infested by treasonable 
inhabitants, who were never adequately dealt with 
for their treachery, beyond receiving a good share 
of contempt among their neighbors. 

How Schiefflin withdrew from his election, or 
how he became rehabilitated as an American 
citizen, does not appear ; but he certainly became 
one, and, not many years after, he was a judge 
of common pleas in Detroit, and a useful delegate 
at Chillicothe. He had large landed possessions, 
and failed to make out a good title to many 
more, which he claimed from Indian grants.. He 
was a favorite among the Indians, and an adopted 
member of some of the tribes, being styled in a 
grant from the Ottawa, Chippewa and Potawa- 
tamie tribes as " our adopted brother and chief 
in our said Nations, by the names of Ottason 
and Minawinima."' 

I Ottason (with the French pronounciation Atasson,) signifies a store- 
keeper or trader. Minawinima, a foul talker. This last name was that of 
a chief who probably exchanged names with Schiefflin. — Vide Baraga. 


He subsequently returned to his old home in 
New York, and lived to a good old age. In 
T 797 he, with Jacobus Visgar, Richard Pattinson 
and Robert Innis, sold theit Indian title to the 
south-eastern part of Michigan to William S. 
Smith of New York City, for two hundred 
thousand pounds York currency, or half a million 
dollars, taking back a mortgage (never paid) for 
the entire purchase money. If any further ex- 
periments were made with Congress, they were 
not published, and the speculation failed. 

The chanore of alleg^iance made no chancre in 
the social relations of most of the citizens. They 
had been old associates and good neighbors, and 
had no personal quarrels over it. It was generally 
felt that in the main the course of the British 
sympathizers was such as might fairly have been 
expected from those who had felt no political 
ofrievances, and it was also known that the British 
Ministry, in its extreme courses, did not fairly 
represent the British people, from whom the entire 
heritage of American liberty had descended. The 
tory .refugees from New York were not, however, 
looked upon with much complacency by the 
Americans ; and the new comers from the Eastern 
States were not much better received by the 
French, who had a vague dread of being talked 
out of their farms before they knew it, by these 
glib-tongued bargainers. But time, and the enforced 
companionship of a little frontier town, soon 
smoothed away their prejudices ; and Detroit 

Chap. IX.] 


was, in its early days, a place of more than usual 
social harmony. 

It now became evident that the policy of pre- 
venting settlements had produced one very fortu- 
nate result. The amount of land lawfully owned or 
claimed by private persons in actual occupancy, was 
so insignificant, that the change from French to 
English, and from English to American rule, was 
not felt in our legal relations. As there had never 
been any law regularly administered, unless for a 
very short time, and as, under the Quebec Act, wills 
could be made according to either English or 
French law, no questions were likely to arise except 
as to inheritances ; and here the American law was 
more like the French than the English, as it did not 
devolve estates by primogeniture. It was very 
common for French land-owners to make disposition 
of their estates amono^ their children, which became 
operative before their own decease. The ordinance 
of 1787, which attached when the cession was com- 
plete, produced no shock whatever ; as the English 
traders had always followed the common law, which 
was the basis of all proceedings under the Ordi- 

As the statutes of Upper Canada had all been 
passed during the usurpation, they required no 
repeal ; and, although some rights had grown up 
under them, they were not important legally, and 
are of small consequence historically, unless, per- 
haps, in relation to slavery. The Ordinance of 
1787 had declared that "there shall neither be 


slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said Terri- 
tory, otherwise than in the punishment of crime, 
whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." 
Not only had slavery always existed in Canada, but, 
in I 790, an Act of Parliament authorized the Gov- 
ernor to grant licenses to import negroes and other 
slaves into the Province. A very early Act of the 
Legislature of Upper Canada prohibited further 
importations, and provided for the emancipation of 
all slave children thereafter born, on reaching the 
age of twenty-five. An Act was also passed for 
greater caution, and not from any real difficulty, 
whereby all marriages solemnized theretofore by 
magistrates, commanders of posts, adjutants or 
surgeons, acting as chaplains, were legalized. By 
the remarks of some of the advocates as well as of 
the opponents of the Quebec Bill, it appears that 
some doubts arose originally in regard to the legal 
powers of the clergy and others in various cases, 
and there were times when there were neither Pro- 
testant nor Catholic ministers in some of the settle- 
ments. When Father Richard arrived at Detroit, in 
1798, he celebrated with the rites of the church 
many marriages that had previously been performed 
civilly. No other provincial legislation requires 

The only provisions of Jay's Treaty, under which 
litigation subsequently arose, were Article 2, 
which protected all traders and others in the enjoy- 
ment of all their property of every kind, and which 
allowed them though resident to retain their old 



allegiance, by declaring their intention within a year 
after the evacuation of the posts ; and Article 9, 
which allowed existing estates to be transferred, 
or to descend, without reference to alienage. 

On the 1 8th of August, 1796, Winthrop Sargent, 
acting Governor of the Northwest Territory, by 
Letters Patent under the Great Seal, set apart the 
new County of Wayne. Its boundaries extended 
from the Cuyahoga River westward about to the 
dividing line now existing between Indiana and 
Illinois, and thence northward to the national 
boundary line, including all of the subsequent 
Territory of Michigan, and a portion of Ohio and 
Indiana. The county seat was Detroit, which is 
still the county seat of the County of Wayne, 
much shrunken from those generous dimensions. 

At or about the same time Governor Sargent 
organized the militia, and the Court of Common 
Pleas for Wayne County, which was, like the 
former Canadian court of the same name, a^ 
court of record of extensive jurisdiction, presided 
over by lay judges, who "^ were business men 
chosen for their probity and mtelligence. Louis 
Beaufait was first Senior Justice, and James May, 
Charles Girardin, Patrick McNiff and Nathan 
Williams, were early Justices. The appointments 
to all judicial offices were made by the Executive. 
There was one session at Detroit each year, of 
the Supreme Court of the Territory. Those 
judges were appointed by the President and 
Senate, and, at the time of the organization of 


Wayne County, were Rufus Putnam, John Cleves 
Symmes, and George Turner. Putnam resigned 
the same year, and was succeeded by Joseph 
Gillman. Turner had left the Territory in the 
spring of 1796, and resigned while absent. Return 
J. Meigs was appointed to succeed him in 1798. 
By the laws then in force one judge could hold 
the court. Judge Symmes attended every term 
that was held in Detroit, until Michigan was 
separated from Ohio. 

As the Ordinance of 1787 was the constitution 
of the whole northwest, it demands some refer- 
ence, although familiar to the readers of American 
history. After the peace of 1783, it became a 
serious question what to do with the lands be- 
longing to the United States, and not within any 
single State. All of Michigan and Wisconsin, 
and parts of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, were un- 
questionably treaty acquisitions ; while the re- 
mainder of the Northwest Territory was claimed 
by conflicting States. The Articles of Confeder- 
ation did not provide for such an emergency 
expressly, and the government of the confeder- 
ation was not adapted for orciinary legislation, 
having neither executive nor judiciary. 

The States having pretensions over the country 
finally made cessions of it, upon jealously drawn 
conditions, not for their own benefit, but tor that 
of the people of the Territory. The whole trans- 
action was more in the nature of a supplementary 
treaty, or convention, than of a law ; and the 


Ordinance ot 1787, if it is regarded as a statute, 
is the only instrument of that nature ever passed 
by the Congress of the confederation. It was 
not, however, properly a statute; for all public 
statutes are subject to repeal. This instrument 
was not subject to be altered in its most im- 
portant provisions, although as to others it prob- 
ably was liable to alteration. It is somew^hat 
singular that, in adopting a large stream for the 
southern boundary of the Territory, Virginia, in- 
stead of making the middle thread of the Ohio 
River the dividing line, retained jurisdiction over 
all the stream. 

This important Act of State, adopted on the 
13th day of July, 1787, may most properly be 
called a constitution; since it vested the whole 
original legislative authority in other bodies than 
Congress, and in some particulars was meant to 
operate as a permanent compact between the 
United States and the people of the Territory. 
Its general features were as follows : It established 
temporary rules of descent and succession, and for 
the manner of disposing of property inter vivos 
and by will. A governor was to be appointed 
from time to time by Congress, for terms of three 
years, but removable. A secretary was to hold 
for four vears unless removed, and three judges 
were to hold during good behavior. A majority 
of the governor and judges were to adopt from 
the States such laws as were suited to the Terri- 
tory, to be in force till disapproved by Con- 


gress, or altered by the future Legislature. The 
Board afterwards obtained the power of alteration 
and repeal. The Governor made all appointments 
except judges and secretary, (who were appointed 
by Congress,) and could lay out counties and 
townships, and appoint magistrates and other civil 
as well as military officers, at his pleasure. In 
this he had the amplest prerogative. When the 
popular assembly should be organized, all this was 
subject to their legislative control. But Congress 
retained no powers of immediate legislation for 

As soon as there should be five thousand free 
male inhabitants, an assembly was to be elected, 
with one member for each hvG hundred free male 
inhabitants, until the assembly should contain 
twenty-five members, when the number was to be 
fixed by them. An upper house or council, of five 
members, was to be selected by Congress, from 
ten persons nominated by the representatives. 
Representatives were to serve two years, and coun- 
cillors five. The Governor had an absolute veto, 
with power to assemble, prorogue, and dissolve 
the Legislature. 

Six articles were declared to be articles of com- 
pact between the original States and the people 
and States of the Territory, to forever remain un- 
alterable, unless by common consent. These were. 
First, Religious toleration. Second, A declaration 
or bill of rights and liberties. Third, That " reli- 
gion, morality and knowledge being necessary to 


good government, and the happiness of mankind, 
schools and the means of education shall forever 
be encourao^ed." Also that the Indians should be 
protected in their rights and security, and fairly 
dealt with. Fourth. Perpetual union, and proper 
contribution to the general burdens ; immunity 
from taxation, and respect for United vStates lands 
and titles ; equality of taxes for non-residents ; and 
free use of ways and waters for citizens of other 
States. Fifth, That not less than three, nor more 
than five, States should be formed ; — if three, to 
be divided by north and south lines from points 
named ; if four or ^vo., they were to be divided by 
the same lines running north and up to an east 
and west line through the extreme south point of 
Lake Michigan ; and all north of that line was to 
form one or two States, as Congress should de- 
termine. Each State had assured to it a right to 
be admitted into the Union, as soon as it should 
contain sixty thousand free inhabitants. Sixth, 
That neither slavery nor involuntary servitude 
should be allowed except in punishment of crime ; 
but fugitives from labor should be subject to 

When the Constitution of the United ^States 
came into complete operation, in 1 789, one of 
the first acts of Congress adapted the ordinance 
to it, by transferring to the President and Senate 
the powers of a purely executive nature which 
had before been vested in Congress. The only 
other change made the Secretary acting Governor, 


during the Governor's absence, removal or 

One term of the Supreme Court was held 
each year at Detroit ; and Judge Burnet informs 
us that from 1796 until 1803, when the separa- 
tion took place, neither he, Judge Symmes, nor 
Mr. St. Clair, (who was the Governor's son and 
attorney general) ever missed a term. He gives 
a lively account of the difficulties and hardships, 
as well as amusing incidents, attending the long 
horseback rides from Cincinnati to Detroit, and 
to the other counties. Among other things, he 
describes a curious orame of foot ball at the Au 
Glaize village, where the Shawnee Blue Jacket, 
and Buckongahelas, the old Delaware chief, resided, 
between men and women, in which, by the 
prowess of a gigantic squaw, the game was decided 
for the women. On their return several weeks 
after, they found Blue Jacket had obtained a large 
quantity of whiskey, and the people were all 
drunk. He tells with much humor how a very 
ancient squaw insisted on preferring Mr. St. 
Clair above the rest, whom she scornfully char- 
acterised as " milish," not to be compared to the 
'' big man — Governor's son" whom she honored 
with a profusion of drunken motherly kisses. 

Judge Burnet, (who in this regard speaks from 
his own observation, and is confirmed by his 
contemporaries,) expresses himself very strongly 
upon the wrongs done the Indians, in not pro- 
tecting them from the vices of the whites, until 

Chap. IX.] 3^DIAN CHARACTER. 211 

.they could have become settled down in peaceful 
industry. He says distinctly that until 1 795, after 
the Treaty of Greenville, they were dignified and 
independent in their intercourse with • the whites, 
and received as equals, and that they were in no 
respect an inferior race . by nature, and were as 
capable of improvement as any people. History 
shows that, for a couple of centuries after the 
first settlement in Canada, the Indian tribes were 
in several instances the only farmers in the 
country, and supplied the whites. In Michigan, 
Ohio and Indiana, their villages were neat, and 
their lands well laid out and well tilled. Those 
who have attended Indian councils can bear w^it- 
ness to the keenness of their intellects, and the 
w^onderful accuracy of their memories ; and such 
of them as have received an education are as 
well advanced by their training as any people. 
If white men were compelled to live as nomads, 
and hold no lands as private homesteads, all the 
resources of education and civilization would be 
equally thrown away upon them. The cold blooded 
policy which has first demoralized the Indians, 
and then refused to help them because they were 
demoralized, is a disgrace to humanity. 

The establishment of a regular course of justice 
opened a wide field of litigation, and for several 
years the court business at Detroit w^as large and 
lucrative. The British and other travellers who 
visited the country in 1 796, and shorth' there- 
after, expressed their surprise at the number and 


wealth of the merchants, and the extent of their 
business, and stated that all kinds of articles were 
nearly as cheap in Detroit as in Xew York and 
Philadelphia. The people were gay and pros- 
perous, and indulged as freely in the pomps and 
vanities of dress and amusements as their contem- 
poraries in the elegant circles of the east. The 
truthtelling- inventories of the estates of the in- 
habitants who had done with the world, include 
plate and silks, and all manner of luxuries, as 
well as the '* litres de noblesse'^ which had ceased 
to be important among the new fledged republi- 
cans. On the 4th of June, 1800. during the term 
of court at Detroit the court and bar, and all the 
officers who could be spared of the vwo regiments 
quartered at the fort, with a host of citizens, were 
invited to Sandwich to a banquet and ball in 
honor of the King's birthday : and a company of 
betvs'een four and live hundred, from both sides 
of the river, enjoyed a pleasant and courteous 
intercourse. The next day, the court and bar. 
with others, were taken on a Government vessel 
to Fort Maiden, (then not completed,) and after 
hospitable treatment proceeded across the lake. 
The macrnates of the fur trade had not lost their 
Scottish habits of conviviality' : and ludo^e Burnet's 
stories of Angus Mackintosh's liberal feasting and 
wassailing remind one of Scott's pictures of the 
same period in the land of their origin. 

I Many Canadian gentlemen received letters of nobility for services in 
war and discovery. In making up the inventories ofestates it was customary 
to include all pap>ers and titles. Such an item occurs in the inventory of 
Fontenay Dequindre, and probably in many more. 


As there are not many printed descriptions 
of Detroit belonging to the period of the first 
American occupation, some extracts from the 
Letters of Isaac Weld/ an Irish gentieman of 
subsequent literar\' prominence, who \*isited this 
region in the autumn of 1 796. may be worth 

** The houses in this part of the countn.' are 
all built in a similar st\'le to those in Lower 
Canada : the lands are laid out and cultivated 
also similarly to those in the lower province : the 
manners and persons of the inhabitants are the 
same. French is the predominant language, and 
the traveller may fancy for a moment if he 
pleases, that he has been wafted by enchantment 
back a^ain into the neicrhborhood of Montreal or 
Three Rivers. All the principal posts throughout 
the western countr\\ aloncr the lakes, the Ohio, 
the Illinois, etc.. were established by the French : 
but except at Detroit and in the neighborhood, 
and in the Illinois country-, the French setders 
have become so blended with the greater number 
who spoke English, that their language has ever\*- 
where died away. 

" Detroit contains about three hundred houses, 
and is the largest town in the western countr}-. 
It stands contiguous to the river, on the top of 

I Mr. Weld spent parts of the years 1795, 1796 and 1797 in America, 
and much of his time was passed in the United States. He was a good 
observer, though very bitterly prejudiced. Mr Ticknor met him in Ireland 
many years afterward, and he then assured Mr. T. that his views had 
become changed. — i Tickxor's Bu^a^kyy /. 424. 

214 DETROIT. [Chap. IX. 

the banks which are here about twenty feet high. 
At the bottom of them there are very extensive 
wharfs for the accommodation of the shipping, 
built of wood, similar to those in the Atlantic 
sea-ports. The town consists of several streets 
that run parallel to the river, which are inter- 
sected by others at right angles. They are all 
very narrow, and not being paved, dirty in the 
extreme whenever it happens to rain ; for the 
accommodation of passengers, however, there are 
footways in most of them, formed of square logs, 
laid transversely close to each other. The town 
is surrounded by a strong stockade, through which 
there are four gates ; two of them open to the 
wharfs, and the two others to the north and 
south' side of the town respectively. The gates 
are defended by strong block-houses, and on the 
west [north] side of the town is a small fort in 
form of a square, with bastions at the angles. 
At each of the corners of this fort is planted a 
small field-piece, and these constitute the whole of 
the ordnance at present in the place. The British 
kept a considerable train of artillery here, but 
the place was never capable of holding out for 
any length of time against a regular force ; the 
fortifications, indeed, were constructed chiefly as a 
defence against the Indians."'' P. 351. 

1 Mr. Weld, like most strangers, mistook the points of the compass, 
by failing to notice the bend at the town, which fronts southward and 
not eastward. The gates were at the east and west ends. 

2 In this'the writer is in error. Major Lernoult constructed this fort 
during the American Revolution, to defend the place against the Americans. 

Chap. IX.] DETROIT. 215 

" About two-thirds of the inhabitants of Detroit 
are of French extraction, and the greater part of 
the inhabitants of the settlements on the river, 
both above and below the town, are of the same 
description. The former are mostly engaged in 
trade, and they all appear to be much on an 
equality. Detroit is a place of very considerable 
trade ; there are no less than twelve trading 
vessels belonging to it, brigs, sloops and schooners, 
of from fifty to one hundred tons burthen each." 
" The stores and shops in the town are well 
furnished, and you may buy fine cloth, linen, etc., 
and every article of wearing apparel, as good in 
their kind, and nearly on as reasonable terms, as 
you can purchase them at New York or 

" The inhabitants are well supplied with pro- 
visions of every description ; the fish in particular, 
caught in the river and neighboring lakes, are of 
a very superior quality. The fish held in most 
estimation is a sort of large trout, called the 
Michillimakinac white fish, from its being caught 
mostly in the straits of that name." P. 352. 

" The country round Detroit is uncommonly flat, 
and in none of the rivers is there a fall suf^cient 
to turn even a orist mill. The current of Detroit 
River itself is stronger than that of any others, 
and a floating iPiill was once invented by a 
Frenchman, which was chained in the middle of 
that river, where it was thoucrht the stream would 
be sufficiently swift to turn the water-wheel ; the 

216 MILLS. [Chap. IX. 

building of it was attended with considerable 
expense to the inhabitants, but after it was 
finished it by no means answered their expect- 
ations. They grind their corn at present by wind 
mills, which I do not remember to have seen in 
any other part of North America." P. 354. 

The author was mistaken concerning the 
absence of water power. There is a consider- 
able though gradual rise from the Detroit River 
northward, and the water is distributed from a 
reservoir upon high ground within the city so as 
to reach the upper stories of high buildings. 
Within living memory, there were streams within 
the present limits of the city on which water-mills 
once existed. Campau's mill has been referred 
to already. A mill also stood on the Cass Farm, 
upon the River Savoyard. Two mills were driven 
by the waters of Bloody Run, one near the 
" Pontiac Tree," where the stream crossed what 
is now Jefferson Avenue, and one near the Fort 
Gratiot Road. Mr. Tremble also had a water 
mill on Tremble's (now Connor's) Creek, at or 
near the starting point of the Moravian Road. 

The wind mills, which have now mostly dis- 
appeared, were once seen on every headland and 
point and their white sails revolving in the wind 
presented a pleasant spectacle on a fair summer 
day. They were all built alike, in circular form, 
with a broad sloping stone foundation and up- 
right wooden body, surmounted by a conical roof, 
which was turned by a long timber sweep, so as 


to bring the sails into position. One of these 
wind mills, on the American side opposite Sand- 
wich or Montreal Point, (on the Gobaie Farm, 
since known as the Knaggs, and Bela Hubbard 
Farm) had the reputation of being haunted, but 
the legend has escaped the antiquarian, and is 
now lost. 

The town of Marietta, Ohio, was founded in 
1 789 by a colony from New England, embracing 
some of the ablest men that came to the West ; 
and the pattern they set, of caring for schools and 
churches in the very beginning of their undertak- 
ing, was of infinite service in shaping the future of 
the Territory. Most of them had seen honorable 
service, and borne rank in the Revolutionary Army, 
and they were men of culture and refinement, as 
well as good sense and energy. In after days 
Michigan received many valuable citizens from 
that colony. The first new settler in Detroit after 
the occupation was from that place. Solomon 
Sibley arrived in 1797. He was then a promi- 
nent lawyer, and, as the first member in time, was 
also during his professional career second to no 
one in character or ability. After filling other pub- 
lic stations, he became one of the Judges of the 
Supreme Court, and so remained until he felt com- 
pelled to retire in old age from deafness. He was 
one of those men of sturdy honesty and native 
sagacity, whose learning and judgment are never 
obscured by egotism or warped by eccentricity, 
and who by manly frankness and solid wisdom 

218 GENERAL CASS. [Chap. IX. 

are the best guides and safest reliance of young 
commonwealths. Those distinguished pioneers 
found it easy to adapt themselves to the ways of 
the wilderness, and the trainincr of the schools did 
not unfit them for the work of the settler. When, 
three or four years later, Judge Sibley brought 
home from Marietta his young bride (a daughter 
of Colonel Ebenezer Sproat, and granddaughter of 
Commodore Whipple, both of Revolutionary repu- 
tation,), they halted their horses one evening at 
the hospitable home of Major Jonathan Cass, where 
Lewis Cass, then fresh from Dartmouth, was pound- 
ing samp in a hollow stump. This was the first 
meeting of two gentlemen who were destined to 
be friends and coadjutors through many years of 
stirring events, and both of them lived to see the 
Northwest Territory transmuted into populous and 
prosperous States. 

The early days of all communities are full of 
amusing occurrences. Where newspapers are not 
in circulation, and there are no frequent comings 
and orointrs of travellers, each town and hamlet 
furnishes its own comedies and dramas, and every 
one feels bound to contribute what he can to en- 
liven it. The Bar is somewhat noted for its prone- 
ness to such mischief, and the young barristers, 
who found plenty of leisure in the intervals of 
Court, did their full share. The distino^wished elders 
of the Common Pleas were on one occasion, re- 
corded in their journal, led into furnishing their 
quota. They held their sessions in the ball-room 


of Mr. Dodemead, who kept a noted tavern near 
the present Michigan Exchange. His bar-room 
having proved tempting to the soldiers, Colonel 
Strong, the Commander, placed a sentry at the 
door to keep them out. Colonel Elijah Brush, the 
Public Attorney, noticing this .on his way up stairs, 
proceeded to startle the Court by suggesting to 
their Honors a doubt whether, as being under 
military duress, their proceedings might not be in- 
valid. The Court, after due consideration, refer- 
red the matter to the wao-o-ish counsel to be 
reported upon. In due time he made his report, 
so skilfully drawn as to leave the main question 
in hopeless obscurity. The commanding officer, 
however, removed his sentinel, and the civil au- 
thority regained its liberty. 

In 1 798, the Territory had acquired the num- 
ber of inhabitants which entitled it to a General 
Assembly, and three members were allotted to 
Wayne County. The elections were then held 
viva voce, and not by ballot. Solomon Sibley, Jacob 
Visger, and Charles F. Chabert de Joncaire (the 
Chevalier de Joncaire before mentioned), were 
chosen Representatives. The Legislature was sum- 
moned to meet at Cincinnati, on the 4th of Feb- 
ruary, 1 799. The first Council consisted ot James 
Findla}^ (afterwards Colonel during the war of 
181 2, and with the army at Detroit,) Judge Jacob 
Burnet, of Cincinnati ; Henry Vanderburgh, (after- 
wards a Judge of Indiana Territory) ; David Vance 
and Robert Oliver, (a Colonel of the Revolution.) 


General William Henry Harrison was chosen 
Delegate to Congress. 

The previous Territorial Code adopted by the 
Governor and Judges was found very imperfect, 
and the Legislature had much woik to do in sup- 
plying its defects, especially in regard to that large 
class of cases Involving remedies not found in 
common law proceedings, and usually granted in 
equity. The courts had not been granted equity 
powers. The delegate was instructed to obtain 
for the Territory the title to the sixteenth section 
of lands in each township, and the entire township 
of land, which had been promised by the Govern- 
ment In aid of schools and colleges. The Legis- 
lature also passed laws for the protection of the 
Indians, and especially to prevent the sale of ard- 
ent spirits. There was a strong feeling against 
the extent of the Governor's veto power, as well 
as his assumed power to control the entire di- 
vision and erection of towns and counties ; and 
Congress was petitioned to restrict them. Gover- 
nor St. Clair was very much inclined to use the 
veto power, and did it so freely that legisla- 
tion was almost suspended, and the organization 
of the State became desirable to avoid further 

The munificent scheme of devoting a certain 
proportion of the public lands to education, 
was devised in the earliest days of the Re- 
public. In 1785, the sixteenth section in each 
township of six miles square was first pledged to 


the support of the schools of such townships, and 
in the great Symmes purchase one township was 
to be used for the purpose ot higher education. 
This early recognition of the necessity of schools 
and colleges, enforced in the form of a perpetual 
compact between the Government and the people 
and States in the Territory, has been a source 
and stimulus of intelligence, the importance of 
which cannot be estimated. The duty of the State 
to educate her children, generously and thoroughly, 
can never be disregarded without violating the 
pledges on which the rights of the State and Ter- 
ritory were created. 

While the population of Wayne County was 
large compared with that of other parts of the 
Territory, there was a serious obstacle in the way 
of its advancement. The Indian tide had only 
been extinguished in a strip six miles wide be- 
tween the River Raisin and Lake St. Clair; a 
small tract about Mackinaw, and a few detached 
parcels that afterwards fell within Ohio. The De- 
troit settlement was regarded as the most pros- 
perous in the Northwest. That at Mackinaw was 
likely to become important. But until more lands 
should be brought into market there could be no 
rapid growth. No steps had yet been taken to 
ascertain what lands had been lawfully transferred 
under the French and British rule, and this also 
stood in the way of further setdement. Efforts 
were made to bring these matters into adjust- 
ment, but some years passed before any progress 
was reached. 



In 1 800 an act of Congress provided that after 
July 4th of that year the Territory should be divided^ 
throwing into the new Territory of Indiana the 
country included in two of the three originally 
proposed States contemplated by the Ordinance of 
1787. The line between Indiana and the remainder 
was run due north from Fort Recovery to the 
National boundary in Lake Superior, passing a 
few miles west of Mackinaw. It was for a time 
in doubt whether Mackinaw was in Indiana or the 
Northwest Territory. General Harrison was first 
Governor of Indiana, and Judge Vanderburgh's 
residence there made a vacancy in the Council, 
which was filled by the selection of Judge Sibley. 
The seat of crovernment was removed bv Con- 
gress from Cincinnati to Chillicothe, a step which 
caused much discontent, and which was reo^arded 
as an infraction of the stipulations of the Ordi- 
nance of 1787, which gave the Legislature of the 
Territory plenary powers of legislation. The 
Council thereupon passed a bill fixing the meet- 
ings in rotation at Marietta, Cincinnati and Chilli- 
cothe. The House agreed in the right to do this, 
but disagreed as to the places, and nothing more 
was done at that time. 

Accordingly, in November, 1801, the Legis- 
lature assembled in Chillicothe, where they re- 
mained in session, until January 23, 1802. At 
this session the town of Detroit was incorporated, 
with a Board of Trustees, and with power to 
make by-laws and ordinances for the regulation 

Chai'. IX.J disturbance at CHILLICOTHE. 223 

of the town. Judge Sibley was succeeded In the 
House by Jonathan Schiefflin of Detroit, who 
played a prominent part during the session. 
The removal of the seat of government to 
Chillicothe was very severely criticised by various 
members, and the people of that town were 
charged with intriguing for it, and the Governor 
had also expressed himself against it. Mr. 
Schiefflin had been especially emphatic in de- 
nouncing it. A mob of townspeople, coun- 
tenanced by prominent citizens, created a riot, 
and assembled before the house where the Gover- 
nor and Schiefflin lodged. They at length forced 
the door, when Mr. Schiefflin met them with a 
brace of loaded pistols, and drove them back into 
the street. They kept up their disturbances two 
nights without serious harm to any one. But 
the Legislature, to signify their sense of this con- 
duct, adjourned to meet at Cincinnati the next 

Movements were now set on foot which were 
to terminate in the speedy establishment of a 
new State. Wayne County was not consulted 
by the promoters of the scheme, as Judge Burnet 
states, for political reasons. On the 30th of 
April, 1802, an , Act of Congress was passed 
authorizing the people In that part of the Territory 
east of Indiana, and south of the line runnino- 
east from the southerly point of Lake Michigan, 
to adopt a constitution. All north of that line 
was annexed to Indiana, but Cono-ress reserved 



power either to make it a separate State or to 
attach it to Ohio. The people of Wayne County 
were very much incensed at being given no voice 
in the determination of their future, and at being 
deprived of the right of representation ; while 
there was a similar feeling in some parts of Ohio, 
arising from a conviction that it was a political 
trick to secure particular results. Judge Burnet 
published in his Notes on the Northwestern 
Territory some interesting documents showing 
the extent of the feeling concerning the treat- 
ment of Wayne County. 

The union with Indiana was so brief that it 
has left no traces behind it. The Legfislative 
power being thrown into the hands of the Gov- 
ernor and Judges, the people lost their voice in 
the Government. If there were any laws passed 
in the interval they are not accessible to ordinary 
research, and they never affected rights in Michi- 
gan appreciably. 

The town of Detroit made use of its new 
prerogatives concerning the prevention of fires, 
and the use of streets as bowling alleys. There 
had been some changes in the town since the 
French days, but not many. The streets were, as 
before, sixteen and twenty feet wide, and the 
Chemin de Ronde twelve feet wide, but with some 
jogs and angles widening it further in places. 
The main fort was outside of the town, and north 
of the River Savoyard. In front, on the Detroit 
River, were two commodious wharves. Governor 


Hamilton had replaced the original chateau by a 
large and fine house of hewn timber. The houses 
generally were well-built block-houses, one-and-a- 
half stories high, with peaked roofs starting but a 
few feet from the oround, and dormer windows. 
The only sidewalks that could be afforded in such 
narrow w^ays were single timbers, squared and 
about a foot in diameter. East of the stockade 
were the navy garden and navy yard and ceme- 
tery, extending a little east of Woodward Avenue. 
There were probably some scattered dwellings on 
the Domain outside. A space of one arpent wide 
sold from the westerly side of the Askin or Brush 
Farm, which joined the Domain on the east, was 
built up from the river to Michigan Avenue with 
for the most part good buildings, that survived the 
fire of 1805. The lots wathin the old town were 
too small and closely built to afford room for courts 
or gardens. A few^ however, had purchased enough 
to indulge in this luxury, and these were men of 
wealth who could afford to follow their tastes and 
beautify their abodes. The houses, like those 
built after 1805, were furnished with stout doors 
and shutters, and the outer door, as in the ancient 
New^ York mansions, was divided in two, so that 
the lower half might be kept closed and the upper 
half open, allowing all the benefit of light and air 
without the intrusion of trespassers of the human 
or brute creation. No vehicles were used that 
could not be drawn by a single pon\-. In the 
centre ot each house arose an enormous chimney 


with flues of large capacity, not reaching far above 
the roof, but affording a vent to the great volumes 
of smoke that arose from generous fire places 
kept heaped with long beech and maple or hickory 
wood. Cooking-stoves were not invented yet, and 
the baking was done in large dome-like ovens, 
built in the yard or attached to the chimney, or 
else in bake-kettles or Dutch ovens, where coals 
beneath and coals on the broad iron cover ac- 
complished the work speedily. The cremaiUere, 
or crane, (made classic by Longfellow's beautiful 
poem, the '* Hanging of the Crane'') swung from 
stout staples in the side of the chimney, with its 
array of pots and kettles, hung on the pot-hooks 
and trammels that gave names in our youth to the 
first efforts of the penman ; and the savory roast 
turned before the fire beneath the chimney-piece 
and under the open flue, or on long horizontal 
spits before a tin reflector. These low roofs and 
great chimneys were not without their inconveni- 
encies. It is told of a gentleman who in early 
times was an exemplary judge and magistrate, that, 
notwithstanding his dignity, he on one festival oc- 
casion, when a good neighbor was preparing a 
grand banquet, went up to the roof, and without 
Caleb Balderstone's necessities, dropped a line 
with a fish-hook down the kitchen flue, while a 
confederate sent off the cook for a moment, and 
attached the hook to a fine turkey that had just 
reached the proper brownness. The frightened 
servant, returning when the bird had flown up the 


chimney, was firmly convinced the disappearance 
was due to nothing short of witchcraft. In 1828. 
on a brig-ht summer afternoon, the passers-by on 
Jefferson avenue were surprised and startled to 
see a large bear promenading along the ridge- 
pole of Mr. Thibout's house (directly opposite the 
Michigan Exchange); and although the alarm given 
brought out half the settlement, Bruin escaped 
safely to the woods. 

The records of the Irustees show a large 
weekly list of fines, against the inhabitants who 
failed to keep their water-butts full, or their leather 
buckets complete and within reach, or their fire- 
bags (large canvas bags for removing goods) 
empty, or their ladders sound. The zeal with 
which these precautions were followed up shows 
the constant fear and dano-er of fires: and was 
almost prophetic. It was no slight charge to keep 
up a water supply, for there were few wells, and 
no means of drawing water but from the river by 
carts, or in buckets swung on shoulder-yokes. 
There were no engines, and at fires the people 
formed double lines to the river, the men to pass 
the full buckets and the women and children the 
empty ones. 

The other misdemeanors most common were 
horse racing and bowling. Canadian ponies and 
their masters were as prone to racing as the he- 
roes of the turf in Eng-land; and no amount oi 
fining could keep the prosperous burghers irom 
trying their speed in the narrow streets of the 


town. But a more dangerous pastime was rolling 
cannon balls in the streets. Ninepin alleys required 
more room than the short blocks afforded, and 
the narrow highways were tempting substitutes, 
while an eighteen-pound ball required strength 
and skill to send it swiftly and straight along the 
ground. It is not without interest to see that 
the culprits brought before the Trustees for these 
transorressions were not vao^abonds and loafers, 
(for the brisk settlement had no toleration for 
such nuisances), but the solici men of business, who 
indulged in these simple amusements with the 
same overflowing mirth that made their kinsmen 
in Auld Reekie spend Saturday at e'en at high 

The change of the sovereignty took many of 
the wealthiest merchants into Canada, where a 
part settled in Sandwich and a part at Amherst- 
burgh. The British Government at once prepared 
to build a fort at the mouth of the river on Bois- 
blanc Island, which had been the seat of the Hu- 
ron mission, and commanded the entrance to Lake 
Erie. Objection was made by the United States, 
and the question was serious enough to induce 
the British to change their plan and build on the 
main land, near by.' Under the Treaty of 1783, 
the boundary line was to run along the middle of 
the water-communication between Lake Erie and 
Lake Huron, and nothing was said about particu- 
lar channels or islands. It was not until the close 

I Weld's Letters. 


of the last war with Great Britain that provision 
was made, in the Treaty of Ghent, for ascertain- 
ing the ownership of- the various islands, by a 
commission app*ointed under the 6th article of that 
treaty. Peter B. Porter and Anthony Barclay 
were appointed commissioners b) their respective 
governments, and, on the i8th of June, 1822, they 
determined that the line should^ run west of Bois- 
blanc. The channel between that island and Am- 
herstburgh was the main ship channel, and under 
the common usage of nations (as recently con- 
firmed by the award of the PLmperor of Ger- 
many on the San Juan boundary question on 
the Pacific coast) the national boundary line is 
generally presumed to follow that channel. The 
nearness of Bois-blanc to the British mainland 
made it very unpleasant to have such a foot- 
hold for a possible enemy, and it probably would 
not have been agreed to had attention been 
called to it. The decision of the commissioners 
was equitable, and no one has found fault with 
it. In 1796 it was found necessary, in order to 
protect the Indians, that the United States should 
establish trading posts, where goods were to be 
furnished at a low profit and of good quality. 
The agents and their employees were restrained, 
under heavy penalties, from dealing on their own 
account, directly or indirectly, and from purchasing 
from the Indians any articles of use in hunting, 
cooking, or husbandry, or any articles of clothing. 
The laws providing for this, which were temporary, 


were extended from time to time until after the erec- 
tion of Michigan into a Territory. The plan was not 
perpetuated, although it had some advantages, as 
it was liable to fraud. The Indians who received 
annual presents from the British and from our own 
government of guns, hatchets, knives, cloth, blankets, 
kettles, and many other articles of use as well as of 
personal adornment, generally disposed of a large 
share of these articles before they left the set- 
tlements; and when they reached home they were 
not much better off than when they started, be- 
sides having been exposed to the temptation of 
drunkenness. They would no doubt have taken 
much better hold of civilization if the appliances 
had always remained in their possession. 

On the 26th of March, 1804, an act was 
passed proviciing for the disposal of the public 
lands within the Territory, to which the Indian 
title had been extinguished, and directing all claims 
under the French and English Governments to be 
presented to the Registers and Receivers of the 
several Land Offices for proof. By this act, sec- 
tion 16 in each township was reserved for the use 
of schools within the same, and an entire town- 
ship was to be located in each of the districts 
afterwards forming Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, 
for a seminary of learning. This was the germ 
of the University Fund of Michigan, and of the 
Primary School Fund. No surveys could be made 
with safety until it was known what valid private 
grants existed. The Register and Receiver of the 


Detroit (or Michigan) District did not complete 
their labors until after the erection of the new 
Territory. In March, 1806, George Hoffman, Re- 
gister, and Frederick Bates, Receiver at Detroit, 
reported to the Secretary of the Treasury that 
only six valid titles had been made out before 
them, outside of the town. 

It was under these circumstances that, on Janu- 
ary iith, 1805, Congress enacted "that from and 
after the 30th day of June next, all that part of 
Indiana Territory which lies north of a line drawn 
east from the southerly bend or extreme of Lake 
Michigan, until it shall intersect Lake Erie, and 
east of a line drawn from the said southerly bend 
through the middle of said lake to its northern 
extremity, and thence due north to the northern 
boundary of the United States, shall, for the pur- 
poses of temporary government, constitute a sepa- 
rate Territory, and be called Michigan." 

Detroit was made the seat of government, and 
the ordinances of 1787 and 1789 were adopted 
as the charter of the Territory. 



The transition to a separate territorial existence 
was not in all respects fortunate. The people 
were entirely deprived of self-government, and 
the times were such that the use of the Territories 
as political counters, and as rewards for political 
services, was becoming a recognized practice. 
The discontented citizen of our own time, who 
repeats with sadness the perennial story that 
the former days were better than these, can have 
no intimate knowledge of those former days. 
The course of time has removed from sight all 
but the more prominent features ot the period. 
Those who were on the whole useful and sagaci- 
ous have been forgiven their lesser delinquencies 
and unworthiness, and the mutual charges of 
political corruption and dishonesty, which people 
forget as easily as they make them, have been 
lost sight of in the quarrels of their successors. 
Then, as now, most men who were not very soon 
cast out, were probably in the main well-meaning 
and patriotic ; and like modern politicians, they 
persuaded themselves for the time that their 
personal or party success was so essential to the 


public welfare that it was better to use means 
questionably good, or unquestionably bad, than 
have the country ruined by falling into other 
hands. It is not pleasant for sensitive men to 
have their names and reputations bandied about 
and smirched, as recklessly as it is too often done 
by careless writers of items and editorials ; but 
there was not an early statesman, from Washington 
down, who has not had meaner things said of him 
than are often ventured on by decent papers now 
concerning any one. The first half century of the 
Republic was conspicuous for the malignity of 
political quarrels, and the utter disregard of the 
sanctity of the private reputation of public men. 
In our day men who abuse each other in print, or 
on the stump, do not generally carry their warfare 
into social intercourse ; and a person who allows 
his politics to lead him into discourtesy and 
malevolence in private life, is justly considered 
unworthy of respect. But in the early years of 
this century, men believed as well as spoke all 
manner of evil against their antagonists. Diplomacy 
had not yet lost the habit of lying and duplicity, 
and weak nations or communities had no riorhts 
which stronger ones respected. The reign of 
George the Third was a time when many great 
and patriotic statesmen did honor to their re- 
spective countries on both sides of the Ocean. 
It was also a time when political morality, and 
the manners as well as ethics of public life, every- 
where presented ample room for improvement ; 

234 POPULATION. [Chap. X. 

and they have been very much bettered. While, 
therefore, we may find in the history of this region 
plain marks of bad and selfish management, it 
would be quite unfair to lay too much stress upon 
it. Our territorial governments have been im- 
proved in some respects, but selfishness and mis- 
rule have not yet ceased to be found among them. 

The country which became Michigan Territory 
after the 30th day of June, 1805, contained at 
that time no white settlements except Detroit and 
Frenchtown, and the river settlements, and 
Mackinaw. Beyond these there may have been 
a few straggling traders, but no communities. In 
1800 the population, (not including Indians,) was 
only 3,206. This census return must be nearly 
correct, as in 1 799 there were three representa- 
tives, each representing at least five hundred free 
male inhabitants. In 18 10 the population had only 
increased to 4,762. Of these 144 were Indians 
taxed' or colored persons, 24 of whom were slaves. 
In 1 8 10 there were 2,837 ^^^^ white males, and 
1,781 free white females, showing an excess of 
males of 1,036. It is evident that a large portion 
of the immigration was of single men. In 18 10 
Detroit had a population of 1,650, or more than 
St. Louis, and nearly as many as Vincennes and 
Kaskaskia combined, these two being the chief 
Indiana settlements. There was not a hamlet or 
farm in the Territory five miles away from the 
boundary. Immediately across the Detroit River 
was a province which had begun to improve, and 


increased in population very fast. Its people had 
representative government, and were kindred in 
blood and actual relatives of a large share of the 
people of Michigan, and on the most friendly 
terms with them. Surrounding all the white 
settlements in Michigan, and lying between them 
and the other American States and Territories, 
were gathered considerable numbers of the Indians 
of the northwest, who had settled down in 
Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio, and still 
retained tide to all bu: a trifling part of the lands 
in the Territory. Each of these tribes was in the 
regular receipt from Great Britain of arms, 
annuities and supplies, and great pains were taken, 
without resistance by our Government, to keep 
up respect and attachment for the British. With 
the previous warning derived from the withholding 
ot the posts and the encroachments on American 
territory, it might have been foreseen to be danger- 
ous to leave thus isolated from American sur- 
roundings or attachments a community whose 
allegiance had just been changed, and not changed 
by their own procurement. It offered a strong 
temptadon to our neighbors across the Strait, to 
make a further effort to get back the peninsula 
before it could be setded ; and, while it is not 
established that the Bridsh Government was 
direcdy responsible for all that was done, the 
sequel showed that the land was coveted, and the 
effort was speedily made at a terrible cost to the 


The selection of rulers for such a country, 
who were to have the entire control both of 
legislation and of administration, required more 
care than it received. The appointments were not 
open to any apparent objection, and perhaps the 
wisdom that comes after the fact should not blame 
what was not generally supposed to be unsafe. 
The principle of appointment followed then is 
very generally followed now, and none more dis- 
creetly. No sufficient heed was given to the char- 
acter of the population or its ways. No wiser or 
better men were to be found in the United States 
than those who had settled in the Northwest Ter- 
ritory after the Revolution. They were men of 
sagacity and adaptability, with large experience of 
old as well as new countries, accustomed to every 
kind of society, and possessing the confidence and 
regard of their neighbors. The Indians also knew 
both their worth and their prowess, and had a 
wholesome respect for the Long Knives. The 
Governor of Indiana, General Harrison, had been 
wisely chosen from this class, and that Territory 
had gone on rapidly in improvement, while the new 
State of Ohio wa's increasing with wonderful 
speed. Michigan needed a western governor and 
western ideas, but it failed to get the benefit of 

It is a great mistake to suppose the adoption 
of good laws is a necessary sign of prosperity. 
If they emanate from popular bodies, they may 
indicate (though not always) the popular sense. 


But there are often good laws upon our statute 
books that have never really governed the action 
of the people, and there are bad laws which have 
never hurt them, because never carried out fully.. 
It is not on legislation, so much as on the actual 
conduct of affairs, that prosperity depends. The 
rottenest governments have had written codes 
which have been gready admired, but which never 
prevented mischief. The codes adopted by the 
Governor and Judges of Michigan were substan- * 
tially like those of their neighbors, and were not 
complained of. But the first decade of the Ter- 
ritorial life was unfortunate. As the time ap- 
proached for organizing the Territory, Mr. Jeffer- 
son sent to the Senate for confirmation the names 
of William Hull for Governor, Stanley Griswold 
for Secretary, and Augustus Brevoort Woodward, 
Samuel Hundngton and Frederick Bates as Judges. 
Mr. Hundngton declined the office, and in 1806 
his place was filled by John Griffin. As the Gov- 
ernor, under the ordinance, had the entire control 
of establishing local offices and appoindng officers, 
the character of the local organizadon depended 
almost entirely upon his judgment. 

Of these persons, Governor Hull was an old 
Revoludonary officer from Massachusetts ; Mr. 
Griswold an able man but a red-hot polidcian 
from Connecticut, who had left the pulpit to be- 
come an editor, and who was only comfortable 
when he had his own way ; Judge Bates was a 
resident land officer at Detroit, of sterlino- worth. 


and admirably fitted in all respects for his place ; 
Judge Grif^n was a man of elegant accomplish- 
ments, but no great force of character or con- 
victions; and Judge Woodward was one of those 
strange compounds of intellectual power and wis- 
dom in great emergencies, with very frequent ca- 
price and wrongheadedness, that defy description. 

Two of the three Judges, Bates and Griffin, 
were Virginians by birth, and old friends of Jeffer- 
son. Woodward, though generally credited to Vir- 
ginia, was not, it is believed, a native of that State, 
but of New York. He resided in the District of 
Columbia, and had attracted considerable attention 
from some ambitious writings of a somewhat specu- 
lative character, to which Mr. Jefferson had taken 
a fancy. They had many points of resemblance 
in their tastes. The executive officers were doubt- 
less selected (being otherwise regarded as compe- 
tent) because of their peculiar prominence as his 
supporters, in a region where he was not very 

Mr. Griswold, who had made himself useful in 
various ways in land matters, was for some reason 
unable to harmonize with the Governor, and it is 
said desired to supersede him. In this, how^ever, 
he failed, and was himself removed at the end of 
his first term of three years; and his place was 
filled by Reuben Atwater of Vermont. This gen- 
tleman was universally respected for his integrity 
and good sense; and having been uniformly cour- 
teous and diligent and having attended to his own 


business without disturbing or squabbling with his 
neighbors, he has failed to make as conspicuous a 
place in our local annals as if he had been less 

Judge Bates remained on the bench a little 
over a year. He found his associations unpleas- 
ant, and with Judge Griffin more than unpleasant, 
so much so as to have nearly led to a duel. He 
resigned his commission in November, 1806, and 
during the next winter was made Secretary of 
Louisiana Territory, at St. Louis, where he remained 
continuously in this and other responsible posi- 
tions, and died in 1825, while Governor of the 
State of Missouri. His resignation was a serious 
misfortune for Michigan. After he left there was 
no interruption in the unseemly quarrels and in- 
trigues which brought the legislative board and 
the court into contempt, and effectually checked 
the prosperity of the Territory. But in the out- 
set, and apparendy until Griffin came, there was 
no serious clashing. The latter apparendy was not 
entirely above mischief-making between Woodward 
and his colleagues ; and while he generally ad- 
hered to the views of Woodward, he never struck 
out in any original path of good or evil. 

The judges were appointed during good be- 
havior, and Judge Woodward was presiding judge. 
He arrived in Detroit on the 29th of June, 1805. 
The Governor reached the town on the i st of 
July. On Tuesday, July 2d, the Governor admin- 
istered the oath of office to the other officers, and 
organized the government 


They found a very sad state of affairs. On 
the iith day of June, 1805, a fire destroyed every 
pubhc and private building in the town, except a 
warehouse owned by Angus Mackintosh, and a 
log-built bakery on the water's edge below the 
bluff. The warm season had enabled the people 
to camp out without discomfort, and those who 
could not find refuge in the hospitable abodes 
near by, and in Canada, had found rude shelter 
on the domain adjoining. Some had already put 
up new houses. The narrow streets and small 
lots in the old town were not well fitted for the 
growth of a settlement, and it was seen by all 
that a more commodious plan should be devised. 
In the uncertainty that existed concerning the 
ownership and control of the domain, it was con- 
cluded to lay out a town, and provide for the 
present emergency, leaving all questions to be 
settled in future. Lots were disposed of enough 
to meet the necessity, and the case was held over 
for the action of Congress. 

Within the next three months a code of laws 
was prepared, and adopted seriatim in sections 
from day to day, by unanimous concurrence. The 
statutes were well drawn and judicious, so far as 
can be seen. Judicial matters received early at- 

Small cases were left to be disposed of by 
justices of the peace, and the Supreme Court was 
vested with exclusive original jurisdiction over land 
cases and capital criminal cases, and concurrent 


jurisdiction over other civil controversies involving 
more than two hundred (afterwards five hundred) 
dollars, with appellate power g-enerally. The in- 
termediate jurisdiction was vested in district courts 
presided over by one of the judges. Three dis- 
tricts were created by the Governor in the first 
instance, called the Districts of Erie, Detroit and 
Huron; the District of Erie comprehending the River 
Raisin country from Ohio northward to the Huron 
River, and the Detroit and Huron Districts, which 
were temporarily thrown into one, extending to 
Lake Huron. A fourth district was created which 
extended to Mackinaw. 

One of the earliest acts provided for raising 
by four successive lotteries the sum of twenty 
thousand dollars, for the encouragement of litera- 
ture and the improvement of the city of Detroit. 
This act, passed on the 9th of September, 1805, 
is the first official recognition of its existence as 
a city. Doubdess the Chief Jusdce had already 
drawn in imaginadon the curious plan which his 
sanguine fancy, looking forward seven or eight 
centuries, saw filled out with the completest city 
ever devised. Less than half a century saw more 
than threefold its space completely built, but the 
symmetrical scheme w^as not as fair in other eyes 
as in his own. Colonel McKenney, in his "Tour 
to the Lakes," aptly described it as representing 
a spider's web with all its lines arranged with 
reference to a principal centre. The affecdon of 
its author for this device was extreme, and his 

242 MILITIA. [Chap. X. 

pride in it excessive ; and much of the trouble 
that afterwards arose, and had its influence on the 
peace of the Territory, came from the want of 
respect among his colleagues for this darling child 
of his genius, which was shorn of its fair propor- 
tions and dislocated. 

The Governor took immediate steps to enroll 
the militia. Francis Chabert de Joncaire, Judge 
Woodward, Elijah Brush and John Anderson, were 
commissioned colonels, with other officers subordi- 
nate. The act adopted for their government gave 
the Governor power to call them out whenever 
he chose, and his ill-advised course concerning 
them was a source of trouble. He appears (as well 
as some of his subordinates) to have had very high 
views of military prerogative in time of peace ; 
and the attempt to enforce the same nicety of 
clothing and equipment customary in the regular 
service, led to insubordination on the one hand 
and anger on the other, which did not raise him 
in popular esteem. But this trouble was not im- 

The appropriation bills show that a temporary 
shelter, called a " bower," was built for the court. 
The grand jury, when the court first met, pre- 
sented the subject of land titles as requiring im- 
mediate attention. No orovernment lands were in 
market, and the unsettled condition of private es- 
tates was an effectual hindrance to prosperity. 
Until the commissioners reported, no one felt any 
assurance of title, and their report showed that 

Chap. X.| LAND TITLES. 243 

there were only six good farm titles in the Ter- 
ritory. The Governor and Chief Justice both 
went to Washington, and obtained favorable legis- 
lation. April 2 1 St, 1806, the Governor and Judges 
were authorized by Congress to lay out a town, 
including the old town of Detroit and ten thous- 
and acres adjacent, to settle all private claims for 
lots, and to convey a lot of fifty feet by one hun- 
dred to every person over seventeen years old 
owning or inhabiting a house at the time of the 
fire. The remaining land was to be sold to build 
a court house and jail. Both of these were built 
many years thereafter, and the court house became 
the Territorial and State Capitol, until the seat of 
government was removed to Lansing. It was 
then devoted to the purposes of a union school, 
and is now, with additions, the Detroit High 

On the 3d of March, 1807, an act of Congress 
was passed granting to each person, or the grantees 
or heirs of each person, who possessed and 
occupied lands on the first day of July, 1796, a 
title to such lands, not exceeding six hundred and 
forty acres in each tract. Subsequent laws were 
from time to time passed giving additional grants 
and pre-emptions to such persons, and in Macki- 
naw and the remoter districts fixincr die date of 
possession at July first, 181 2. Most of these 
claims had already been presented to the Land 
Commissioners for allowance, as held under color 
of British, French and Indian titles. The lands 

244 BANK OF DETROIT. [Cmap. X. 

outside of Detroit were not managed by the 
Governor and Judges. After providing for all 
these cases there were adjacent lands extending 
back about three miles further from Detroit 
River, which might have been put into the market, 
but were not, as the surveys were postponed. 

Much discord arose in the meetings of the 
Governor and Judges, in their new functions as a 
land-board for Detroit lands. They are of no 
interest as matters of history, except as explain- 
ing how the various Territorial functionaries be- 
came embroiled, so as not only to prevent proper 
legislation, but also to impair confidence in all 
of them. 

Another transaction was not without bitter 
fruits. Early in 1806, Russel Sturges and other 
Boston capitalists made arrangements to organize 
a bank in Detroit, with a capital of ^400,000, 
a very large sum in those days. It was designed 
to be used in connection with their fur-trade. 
Their petition to the Governor and Judges was 
dated early in the spring, and they not only 
appointed their cashier, but built their bank, before 
they received their charter, which was given in 
September, 1806. Judge Woodward was made 
President of the bank, which began operations, 
and issued bills. The act creating it was dis- 
approved by Congress, in March, 1807, and gave 
rise to very severe attacks on the Governor and 
Judges. Judge Woodward was threatened with 
impeachment for this and other misconduct, and 


Governor Hull's re-nomination in 1808 was op- 
posed, but unsuccessfully. On the 23d of April, 
1808, Judge Witherell was appointed judge to 
succeed Judge Bates. It appears that after Bates' 
departure, Woodward and Griffin had everything 
their own way, and paid no attention to the Gov- 
ernor, who was left in a hopeless minority ; and 
that they used their power with some insolence 
and malice. Judge Witherell was as firm as 
Woodward, but much more quiet in his ways. 
His coming gave the Governor the support he 
needed, as well as the suggestions of a more 
masculine intellect, and the tables were turned. 
Henceforth, upon the question of the plan and 
various other matters of difference, the absence of 
any one of the four sometimes led to hostile 
legislation by the opposing majority present. 

The bank, in spite of the action of Congress, 
continued to do business. In September, 1808, 
when Judge Woodward was absent in Washington, 
Judge Witherell introduced and passed, against 
Griffin's opposition, a criminal bill of various pains 
and penalties, which, among other things, punished 
unauthorized banking. This ended the Bank of 
Detroit, but was never forgiven by Judge Wood- 
ward, who, as long as he remained on the bench, 
was never on pleasant terms with Judge With- 
erell, and they never exchanged words, if they 
could avoid it, except officially. 

Much feeling is said to have been roused by 
the course of Woodward in 1806, concernino- cer- 

246 SLAVES. rcHAP. X. 

tain persons convicted of kidnapping. Some Brit- 
ish deserters were captured in Detroit by British 
officers, aided by one or more American officers, 
and the offenders were tried by jury and sentenced 
to fine and imprisonment. Some days thereafter 
Woodward changed the punishment to a nominal 
fine of a few cents. Why this was done does 
not appear. He was not a man of British sym- 
pathies, and on a subsequent occasion, many years 
later, expressed himself in favor of a heavier pun- 
ishment for such cases than his brethren assent- 
ed to. 

In 1807 a very curious case arose concerning 
slavery. Mrs. Catharine Tucker was required, upon 
habeas corpus, to answer for the detention of 
Elizabeth and Scipio Denison, persons of color, 
and she justified on the ground that they were 
held as slaves at the time of the surrender of 
the post in 1796, and were assured to her under 
Jay's Treaty, in spite of the provision against 
slavery in the ordinance of 1787. Judge Wood- 
ward gave the matter a very elaborate examina- 
tion, and wrote a full opinion sustaining her right. 
The case was decided on the 23d of September. 
A few days after, application \vas made for the 
arrest and delivery of some Pawnee and mulatto 
slaves who had escaped from their masters, Mr. 
Pattinson and Matthew Elliott, who resided in 
Canada. In this case the decision was emphatic 
that there was no obligation to give up fugitives 
from a foreign jurisdiction. Thereupon Lisette 


and Scipio went over the river into 'Canada, 
where the same doctrines were enforced, and took 
refuge with Mr. Askin ; and they were for a 
time employed in the family of Angus Mackin- 
tosh. They subsequently came back and were 
never molested, — remaining with Colonel Brush, 
Judge Sibley and Major Biddle, most of their 
lives. Lisette accumulated some property. The 
attempt to obtain Mr. Elliott's servants led to 
a disturbance. His agent was tarred and feath- 
ered, and himself treated with some indignity. 

During the year 1807, Governor Hull held a 
council at Detroit with the Ottawas, Chippewas, 
Wyandots and Potawatamies, and a treaty was 
signed on the 17th day of November, whereby 
they ceded to the United States (excepting some 
small reserves) the country in the southeast 
part of the Territory, bounded west by the prin- 
cipal meridian, which is about seventy-five miles 
west of Detroit River, running as far up as the 
latitude of the present Fort Gratiot, and thence 
northeast to White Rock in Lake Huron. This 
tract coincides very nearly with the land pur- 
chased from the Indians and sold by Schiefflin 
and others to Smith in 1 797. By this cession a 
large region was opened and made subject to 
survey and sale ; but the surveys were postponed, 
and there was no more land to be bought after 
the treaty than before. 

No doubt a chief reason for not hastening the 
surveys and sales of lands was found in the fear 

248 t)ETkOlT FORTIFIED. [Chap. X. 

of Indian troubles. In memorials sent to protest 
against Hull's reappointment in 1808, he is charged 
with timidity, and exciting groundless alarms con- 
cerning Indian attacks, and with using undignified 
means to conciliate individual Indians who should 
have been punished. It is difficult now to know 
how much he was censurable for these alarms, 
but their open expression was not prudent. They 
were not then, though they were soon after, shared 
by others. A timid bearing has always encouraged 
hostilities from whites and Indians both ; and Gov- 
ernor Hull's conduct is generally regarded, during 
his administration, as characterized by alternate fits 
of activity and vacillation, not traceable altogether 
to want of courage so much as to infirmity of 
purpose. He at any rate must have convinced 
the War Department of the correctness of his 
suspicions, as in 1807 the town was ordered to be 
stockaded; and accordingly he or the Secretary 
(for accounts differ) ran a line of high pickets, 
with occasional block houses, along the eastern 
bound of the settlement, including the Domain 
and adjoining houses, as far north as the street 
now known as Michigan avenue, and thence 
west to the Cass Farm and south to the river, 
including the fort and all public and private build- 
ings. Where the stockade crossed Jefferson Ave- 
nue, at the upper end of the Biddle House (then 
Governor Hull's own mansion), there was a large 
block house with artillery; and a gate contiguous 
to the old citadel stood at the western end of 


Jefferson Avenue, where the high bluff crossed it, 
commanding the approaches from the west. 
The memorials complain not only that this 
work was imperfect, but that the Governor had, 
without authority, compelled companies of militia 
to labor in digging trenches and planting pickets, 
as if they had been in regular pay and service. 
While the evident share of Judge Woodward in 
getting up the memorials requires the use of care 
in judging of the correctness of the criticism of 
the Governor's acts, it cannot be assumed that 
statements of specific facts are unfounded ; and 
his stretch of vexatious authority over the militia 
in some matters is shown by his own statements. 
The early military governors had been too famil- 
iar with the habits of the British commanders be- 
fore the Revolution, to be as careful as they should 
have been concerning popular rights. In this re- 
spect Governor Hull did not stand alone, but such 
conduct was very obnoxious to the people on the 

The Governor also incurred universal censure 
by enrolling a separate company of negro militia 
composed entirely, or almost entirely, of recent 
fugitives from Canada, who were not native citi- 
zens, and could not then become naturalized. The 
act of Congress allowed none but whites to be 
enrolled, and the state of feeling at that time did 
not authorize such a violation of law. 

In 1808, Judge Woodward, on his departure 
for Washington, laid before the Legislative Board 

250 QUARRELS. [Chap. X. 

a series of abusive resolutions and charges against 
the Governor, which the latter was unwise enough 
to reply to at length ; — and this was all that 
Woodward desired. He knew very well that no 
such resolutions could pass without his own vote, 
if at all. This, and some other transactions, seem 
to indicate that the Legislative Board (properly 
resembling very closely a privy council) had 
adopted the habit of holding public sessions, and 
airing its dissensions before the populace. There 
is no other means of accounting for the ridiculous 
vaporing and pomposity of the Chief Justice, and 
his indecent strictures upon his associates, nor for 
the counter-blasts, more decent and dignified, but 
not judicious, which came from his antagonists. 
There was a general spirit of pugnacity manifest 
at their meetings. 

But Woodward's conduct at times reached 
such a pitch as to be beyond excuse. Having 
on one occasion made an order in a cause which 
created some feeling. Major John Whipple, 
(father of the chief justice of that name), meeting 
him in the street, used some severe and opprobri- 
ous language. Judge Woodward undertook to 
treat this as a contempt of court, and imposed a 
fine. Some months afterwards, in February, 1809, 
Governor Hull pardoned the offence, as he had a 
right, and as was perhaps required in common 
justice. This led afterwards to difficulty. 

The district courts, first created in 1805, had 
been modified by a statute of 1807, which gave 


them some of the financial and administrative 
duties generally performed by the quarter-sessions 
or county boards, and provided that they should 
be held by a chief justice and two associates " of 
integrity, experience and legal knowledge," ap- 
pointed by the Governor. George McDougall was 
first chief justice, and James Abbott and Jacob 
Visger' associates. These gentlemen were not 
admitted attorneys or counsellors, but were fairly 
educated and judicious men, fully competent for 
their duties. In August, 1809, Major Whipple 
was appointed associate judge of this court for 
the District of Detroit and Erie. In the latter 
part of September, Judge Woodward, treating 
this as a personal slight, procured a grand jury 
to present the Governor as having granted an 
illegal pardon ; and the same subservient body, 
doubtless in response to suggestion, recommended 
the enforcement of the fine, w^hich Woodward 
carried out by process against Major Whipple. 
While this presents the chief justice in a very 
disgraceful light, it indicates great weakness in a 
governor who year after year submitted to such 
insults and invasions of right, without seeking any 
remedy beyond proclamations and counter resolves. 
The same grand jury was induced not only to 
present the Governor, but also Judge Witherell, 
for unwise legislation, and to declare their laws 
passed in W^oodward's absence as " unnecessary, 

I The writer first read Blackstone in what had been Judge Visger's 
Copy of that author, now in his possession. 

252 JUDGE WOODWARD. • [Chap. X. 

nugatory and a nuisance." Fortified by this pro- 
found legal authority, Woodward and his echo 
Griffin, a few days after, declared the whole body 
of laws passed in Woodward's absence invalid, 
because not signed by the individual names of 
the members of the board, instead of by the 
chairman and secretary. Sometimes the grand 
jury presented Woodward; but their action in such 
case was not deemed so correct. 

That conduct like this should effectually 
destroy all the moral force of authority was 
inevitable. The peculiarities of Judge Woodward 
were such as almost to render it doubtful at 
times whether he was not something more than 
eccentric; while on the other hand his conduct 
was usually reasonable and becoming, when he 
was in a position where he was not tempted to 
act insolently, or where there were strong reasons 
of policy. During the war of 1812, he was 
intrepid and active as well as useful in mediat- 
ing with the British authorities, and was long the 
only person who effectually interposed to protect 
the American citizens in Detroit, and to urge 
redress for their injuries elsewhere. Under 
General Cass's administration, while often enough 
provoking resentment from private and official 
individuals, he did not indulge in such conduct in 
the board or elsewhere as he used towards Hull, 
against whom he had a peculiar antipathy. On 
the bench, however, the recollections of business 
men indicate that there could not have been any 


thorough improvement in harmony, and both he 
and Griffin were finally legislated out of office. 
His personal habits were slovenly, and his room 
was conspicuous for disorder. His worst habit, 
however, was that sort of audacious impudence 
which, under the name of eccentricity, has some- 
times characterized men of mark, and even made 
them to be imagined greater than if they had 
behaved themselves with more civility. John 
Randolph was an instance of this kind. 

In the early Territorial days it had not become 
so discreditable as it has been in our time for 
persons insulted to use what Blackstone would have 
classed among "remedies by act of the party;" 
and Judge Woodward often provoked, and some- 
times received this treatment, while no doubt he 
much oftener deserved it. If the Governor had 
ever forgotten his dignity in this way, instead of 
in less effective conduct, he might perhaps have 
secured peace, and had better fortune. But 
Woodward, who never respected him, had dis- 
covered his weak points, and that he was more 
prompt in asserting his rights than in defending 
them, and so took a malicious pleasure in aggra- 
vating him. But beyond this, the Chief Justice 
regarded himself as the only man in the Territory 
whose views should pass current without question ; 
and enforced this doctrine when he could. 

These quarrels had a bad effect on the public 
peace. Each of the contending powers had pre- 
rogatives which made it to the interest of various 


persons to conciliate him. Each had, therefore, 
his greater and lesser satellites, and among them 
personal encounters were common. Whether the 
town was more turbulent than other border towns 
at that period may be doubted. But the offend- 
ers were oftener brought before the courts, and 
were generally men of standing. 

The social condition of the town was good. 
It had an unusual proportion of educated and 
refined people, and a fair general standard of edu- 
cation. Unfortunately the earliest school law, 
passed in 1809, was never printed, and has dis- 
appeared. There was no permanent newspaper 
press until 181 7, although in 1809 a small paper 
was published a little while. We have no full 
knowledge of the number or condition of schools. 
But an examination of our public records shows 
that a very large portion of the inhabitants, both 
French and English, had at least an ordinary edu- 
cation. Their papers and signatures show a habit 
of using the pen, and their accounts are neatly 
and accurately kept. • In spelling French words 
there are tokens that much was taught by the ear 
instead of the eye, but the orthography of that 
language was not perfectly followed by many 
very distinguished men under the French regime, 
and the blunders found occasionally in our French 
papers are no worse than abound in public docu- 
ments. Napoleon has credit for similar mistakes ; 
and in our own language fifty years ago (if not 
to-day) inaccurate spelling was not proof of ig- 


norance. In most garrisons where there were 
children some pains were taken to teach them. 
We know from the character of the early immi- 
grants and natives of Detroit that they would not 
allow their children to lack education ; and so far 
as we have facts they all tend to prove this. In 
1798 Father Gabriel Richard, a priest of the Or- 
der of St. Sulpice, first came as resident pastor 
of the Catholic church of St. Anne. His tall and 
sepulchral figure was familiar to every one during 
the long period during which he filled his sacred 
mission. He was not only a man of elegant 
learning, but of excellent common sense, and a 
very public-spirited citizen. He encouraged edu- 
cation in every way, not only by organizing and 
patronizing schools for the immediate trainino- of 
his own people, but by favoring all other proper 
schemes for general intelligence. He brought to 
Detroit the earliest printing-press that was known 
in the Territory, and in 1809 published a small 
gazette called the ''Michigan Essay, or Impartial 
Observer." He also compiled and published some 
religious and educational works for his own flock, 
and some selections from French authors for read- 
ing. He was an early officer of the University, 
and a teacher or professor in it. His acquaint- 
ance was prized among Protestants as well as 
Catholics. His quaint humor and shrewd sense, 
m no way weakened by his imperfect pronuncia- 
tion of English, are pleasantly remembered by all 
who had the fortune to know him; while his brief 

256 SCHOOLS. [Chap. X. 

prayer for the Legislature, that they might make 
laws for the people and not for themselves, was 
a very comprehensive summary of sound political 

The researches of some of our citizens have 
led to the discovery of several names of teachers 
who flourished before the days of newspapers, 
although no doubt many more have been forgotten. 
The Reverend David Bacon (father of Dr. Leo- 
nard Bacon) taught a school at Detroit in 1802. 
Miss Elizabeth Williams, (daughter of Thomas 
Williams before mentioned), and her cousin Miss 
Angelique Campau, taught schools as early as 
1808, and the school of the former and of her 
associates and successors was continued many 
years. From 1 8 1 2 to 1 8 1 8 a classical school was 
kept up by Mr. Payne and Reverend John 
Monteith. In 181 6 a common school on the New 
England plan was opened under Mr. Danforth. 
After the organization of the University, in 181 7 
or 1 81 8, teachers were abundant, and schools 
thorough and excellent, and more than one of 
these teachers became eminent in civil and military 
life. Teaching was a common occupation among 
ambitious men preparing for their future career. 

Not very long after Michigan Territory was 
organized, the Indians began to complain of the 
advance of the white men, and that they had 
signed treaties which they did not understand. 
No encroachment had been made on the Indians 
in Michigan, and the Indians there had not 


generally preceded the white men in the southern 
part of the State. But it was true enough that 
their future was doubtful, unless they learned 
some of the arts of civilizadon. Their discontent, 
however, if it originated witli themselves, was 
chiefly due to the promptings of others. The 
Northwest Company was deeply interested in 
keeping the country a wilderness, and the control 
of it was earnesdy coveted by British interests. 
From all parts of the Indian country reports came 
that Elliott, the agent at Maiden, was tamperino- 
with the tribes. Their annual presents were con- 
tmued on a liberal scale, and they received an 
extra share of guns and munidons of war. Even 
as early as 1807 and 1808, there were indications 
of some mysterious plan of mischief. The wonder- 
ful organizing power of Pontiac had long before 
shown the value of unity to the Indians, and tribes 
that had once been hostile were found seeking 
strength in brotherhood. The lesson was not for- 
gotten; and in all the early treaties made by the 
United States with the Indians east of the Mis- 
sissippi, it was found that the tribes had become 
confederated, and that they had counsellors who 
were not Indians. In 1784, and thereafter. Brant 
appeared as the great centralizing agent; and in 
1794 and 1795, i" Wayne's Campaigns, and at the 
Treaty of Greenville, it was found that although 
there was much tribal independence, there was 
nevertheless a very general union, and this was 
influenced chiefly from Maiden by McKee and 
Elliott, through various chiefs. 


The new representative of this unifying policy 
was Tecumseh, a chief of the Shawanoes, or Shaw- 
nees, a body of whom, after the Treaty of Green- 
ville, had established themselves by permission of 
the Potawatamies and Kickapoos on the Tippe- 
canoe River — a branch of the upper Wabash. 
This chief was a wise and statesmanlike charac- 
ter, and his ambitions were noble. He desired to 
advance the prosperity of the Indians by bring- 
ing them into unity and civilization. The Iroquois 
had once advanced far in that direction. The 
Wyandots, or Hurons, were intelligent and indus- 
trious. Some of the southern tribes, especially 
the Cherokees, had begun the work which still 
continues as a development of progress made 
under very great difficulties. 

Tecumseh knew the danger of contact with 
the whites, and he also knew the advantages of 
Michigan and the adjacent country for Indian set- 
tlement. No country on the continent was better 
adapted for his confederacy. The annual subsi- 
dies of the British Government and the blandish- 
ments of the Maiden agency had done much to 
retain the old influence, and the sagacious chief 
was not left in doubt concerning the approval of 
his scheme by his Canadian friends. The letters 
from all parts of the country very soon showed 
that he had come to a good understanding with 
them, and that he was working under their inspira- 
tion. In iSo8 and 1809, the scheme became more 
apparent. His brother, the Prophet, from a 


dreamer of dreams and seer of visions, became 
invested with the character of an inspired teacher, 
and so worked upon the superstition of the Indi- 
ans that he was looked upon by tribes near and 
remote with reverence and fear. Like other such 
characters, he no doubt became more or less de- 
ceived by his own fanaticism; and Tecumseh, from 
pohcy or superstition, or both, also assumed to be 
a believer, although he probably contrived to shape 
the inspirations very much as he chose. He was 
not so much of a fanatic as to lose his diplomatic 
craft, for he contrived for a time to persuade 
General Harrison (who was a very keen observer) 
that his schemes w^ere all for the improvement 
of the Indians, and were not aimed against the 
whites; and no doubt such was his principal de- 
sign, if it could have been compatible with white 

The purposes of Tecumseh became known to 
the Governor General of Canada, and he warned 
our government of them. It has generally been 
conceded that while Sir James Craig desired to 
dismember the union, he did not wish to turn 
loose the savages upon the American settlements. 
He prohibited the Maiden agency from furnishing 
arms to the Indians. He expected rather to win 
over a part of the States by diplomacy. He sent 
John Henr)" into New England for that purpose, 
and had a notion that the Union was about to 
drop asunder. He, at least, may be acquitted of 
any complicity with Tecumseh, and it is quite 


probable that the Indian agents, while fomenting 
these troubles, and endeavoring to avenge some 
personal grievances, were acting independently, and 
in confidence that they would ultimately be re- 
warded. There is much mystery about the whole 
relations with Great Britain at this time. The 
British Minister at Washington professed ignor- 
ance of Henry's mission, and claimed that he had 
no official relations with the Governor General. The 
attack on the Chesapeake, made in 1807, was only 
apologized for in 18 11, when the accumulation of 
other grievances had made war inevitable. Perhaps 
it is not entirely discreditable that Great Britain 
has been very forgiving to officers who have ex- 
ceeded instructions, in order to do what they 
thought she would be glad to see done. In those 
days it was certainly not deemed an unpardon- 
able sin to try experiments on the United States. 

The time at last came when Tecumseh's plans 
could no longer be concealed. He failed in get- 
ting control of many of the Indians on the bor- 
der; and while some of them were friendly to him 
and to the English, the most of the Wyandots, 
Delawares, Senecas, and even the Shawanoes, re- 
mained friendly to the United States. In the au- 
tumn of 181 1, General Harrison began a move- 
ment upon the hostile confederacy, and on the 7th 
of November he fought the celebrated battle of 
Tippecanoe, where the Prophet and his warriors 
were routed, and the peace of that region was 
secured till after Hull's delays had enabled the 

Chap. X.] HULL'S DEPARTURE. 261 

British to become aggressive, and to use the In- 
dians effectively. Tecumseh betook himself to 
Maiden, and thereafter his attachments were un- 
concealed. He was well received and much fa- 
vored, and obtained a high rank in the army. 

The Michigan settlements could make no head- 
way under such circumstances, and the local affairs 
of the Territory remained in the same state of 

Governor Hull left for Washineton before he 
heard of the batde of Tippecanoe. While in that 
city he made some useful suggestions concerning 
the possession of the lakes by American vessels. 
His earlier advice on this subject had been ju- 
dicious, and at this time, on the strength of his 
Revolutionary merits, he was well thought of as 
a military officer. He had never commanded 
any large force, nor performed any striking de- 
tached service on a large scale. While some 
of the more distinguished and successful soldiers 
who afterwards had reason to complain of him 
became suspicious of his fitness in the earliest 
days of his command, he left Washington for the 
west in good general repute. 

His civil administration practically terminated 
when he left for the seat of government. But 
there was one last civil function performed in 
the sad interval between his return from Canada 
and the surrender which followed it, inclicatine a 


dangerous omission in the previous legislation 
of the Territory. On the 13th of August, 181 2, 

262 OLD Laws abolished. [Chap. x. 

a bill was passed forbidding die sale of intoxi- 
cadng liquor to die Indians. 

There are not many peculiar features in the 
laws of the first Territorial period, but some fur- 
ther reference is necessary to a few of them. 

The want of a press, and the difficulty which 
was found in determining the legal condition of 
the country, led in 1810 to a very wise measure, 
whereby all the French laws and customs, and 
all English and Canadian statutes, as well as those 
of the Northwest Territory and Indiana, were 
abolished. This left the people subject only to 
the laws of the United States, the Territorial 
statutes, and the general rules of the common 

No counties were laid out during the time 
of General Hull. The districts were the only di- 
visions, and the district judges acted as local ad- 
ministrators. Although there were highway com- 
missioners, there were few roads, and those either 
in Detroit or up and dowm the Detroit River. 
There was no access to the interior except by 
streams or Indian trails. 

The money then in circulation was mostly 
Spanish dollars, halves, quarters, pistareens, and 
pieces of twelve and a half and six and a quarter 
cents. In the absence of small coin the larger 
coins were cut into quarters and eighths. Accounts 
were kept in York currency, of two dollars and a 
' half to the pound, or twelve and a half cents to 
the shilling. 

Chap. X.] LEGAL AFFAIRS. 263 

Several of the early tax laws were never 
printed, and are lost, and there is no index to 
their contents. It seems, however, that revenue 
was raised almost entirely from capitation taxes of 
one dollar on each male over sixteen years, specific 
taxes on dogs, horses, asses and mules, and upon 
vehicles, and taxes and license fees on various 
occupations. The tax on dogs was ingeniously 
devised. It assessed fifty cents on a dog it only 
one was owned, one dollar for the second, and 
a dollar and a half for each beyond two. The 
license law^ for liquor selling punished with se- 
verity every dealer who allowed drunkenness or 
noise on his premises, in-doors or without. It 
seems that the deputy marshal, who was jailor, 
had been charged a full tavern license; as a law 
was passed requiring him to pay but one dol- 
lar, instead of the greater sum, for the privilege of 
entertaining his involuntary guests. 

The district courts were abolished in 1810, 
and there appears a hiatus for some years in 
the published laws, as to compulsory jurisdiction 
over the cases they had dealt with. Probably 
they were remitted to the Supreme Court. Par- 
ties in the district courts could waive a jury. 
On the other hand, cases tried there by jury could 
be appealed for a new jury trial in the Supreme 
Court — a practice which afterwards, under a some- 
what modified system, was found oppressive. Tes- 
timony in equity cases could be taken in open 
court, if desired. This was allowed in the United 
States courts by the early judiciary act. 


On the 19th day of January, 181 1, Judge Wood- 
ward appeared in die legislative board clad in a 
suit of American cloth, (as the record carefully 
recites), and introduced resolutions in favor of 
American industry. This was no doubt meant for 
the audience. It is not reported what effect it 
produced, at home or abroad. 

In the early part of 1807, on the 23d day of 
January, a law was passed which seems to have 
been in some way connected with Burr's conspir- 
acy, but which is not explained. It is a very 
elaborate and carefully framed statute to prevent 
and punish acts hostile to the peace of the 
United States, reaching all attempts and incipient 
preparations by land or water, authorizing the sei- 
zure of persons, arms, supplies and boats or ves- 
sels, and giving unusual powers to call out forces, 
and punishing with great severity military officers 
neglecting or refusing to respond. 

It is known that Mr. Jefferson received infor- 
mation in October, 1806, which excited his sus- 
picions against Burr, and that he notified some ©f 
the western governors to be on their guard. In 
November, Colonel Daviess was foiled in an at- 
tempt to have Burr held to bail in Kentucky ; 
but the Ohio Legislature, before the middle of 
December, passed an act from which ours was 
copied. Whether there were any suspicious 
movements in this region, or whether the act was 
passed merely from abundant caution, is now un- 

Chap. X. ] WAR. 265 

known. The news of Burr's arrest could not have 
reached Detroit for some time after its passage. 

The war of 1812 and its consequences made 
a sorrowful ending to a period of no political 
progress, and which was not an auspicious open- 
ing to our public career. 



The discussion of the events of the War of 
1812 in a purely military point of view, is not 
within the purpose of this sketch, and not within 
the writer's skill. But they were events of such 
great political and social importance to Michigan 
that an outline of them is necessary. This involves 
unavoidably a reference to the surrender of Detroit. 
Upon this, whatever may have been the laudable 
desire of personal friends and affectionate relatives 
to remove obloquy from an officer of very kind 
heart and many good qualities, there has been a 
substantial agreement among military men, and 
no appreciable difference of opinion among the 
citizens and officers who had most reason to 
understand and observe the circumstances. The 
details of the war, and of this most disgraceful 
and lamentable occurrence in it, have been made 
familiar by many historians, and givQn in the Field 
Book of the War of 181 2, with much fullness as 
well as with general accuracy, by Mr. Lossing, 
who has done so much with pen and pencil to 
perpetuate our military history. No attempt will 
be made to go into these particulars at length. 


The conduct of the War Department of the 
United States in delaying important preparations, 
and in not using greater diHgence in sending out 
knowledge of the declaration of war, was very 
reprehensible. And so far as it really interfered 
with any military successes, the excuse should be, 
and has been, allowed to all officers and others 
who did their best. But it is also no more than 
just and reasonable to discard from allowance any 
difficulties or dangers, which, although they might 
have been possible, either had no effect upon 
results or were not in fact existing ; and when 
existing, were not of such a character that at the 
time any one should have acted, or did rationally 
act upon them. The delays and difficulties were 
not confined to American movements and prepara- 
tions ; and the antecedent fears of some wise men 
and good officers at a distance, concerning the 
precise nature of perils on the frontier, would 
not all have been entertained had they been on 
the spot, and known the condition of affairs on 
both sides of the line. 

Th-ere was opposition to the declaration of war, 
and of course it was among the possibilities that 
it would not be made. It appears from various 
sources, and especially from those brought to 
light in General Hull's behalf, that he w^as opposed 
to declaring it at that time, and especially opposed 
to it so early, as endangering his civil jurisdiction 
and the people living under it. He claims also 
to have been opposed to the invasion of Canada 

268 HULL'S VIEWS. [Chap. XI 

(although his previous letter may bear a different 
construction) on similar grounds, and for the reason 
that he regarded it as too strong to be overcome 
by the American forces, and as likely to be 
dangerously aggressive in return. He was re- 
luctant to accept a military command, not because 
of any doubt of his own ability, but as it now 
appears for the reason, among others, that it 
might involve an expectation on the part of the 
Government that he would attempt to invade 
Canada; while he saw fit to think it his paramount 
duty not only to look chiefly to the interests of 
the Michigan settlements, but to put his private 
judgment on this policy against all other consider- 
ations, and carry it out at all events. No one can 
read his own defence, or the undisputed facts of 
history, without seeing that he claims credit for 
having been constantly moved by this sentiment. 
He was acquitted on the charges of treason. It 
was not believed he meant to deliberately injure 
or betray his country. But while free from that 
design, which would have made his memory as 
black as Arnold's, he was not, if we accept his 
own vindication of himself, free from that fault, 
which, though not so disgraceful morally, is not 
much less daneerous, and which has been the 
destruction of many promising reputations, of 
imagining that military officers have a right to 
determine the policy of their government, and are 
only bound to carry out such measures as they 
deem expedient. An officer who prophesied failure 

Chap. XI. j HULL'S QUALri'lES 269 

before war was declared, unless his views were 
accepted, and whose anterior views, as to the 
means of preventing mishap, were not carried out 
by Congress or the War Department, was cer- 
tainly in danger of fulfilling his prophecies, and of 
convincing himself that the failure was inevitable. 
If Hull was really as frank in his prophecies to 
the War Department before his appointment, as 
he was increnious in findino- out afterwards rea- 
sons why he ought to have failed, there can be 
no doubt that his selection, reluctant or unre- 
luctant, was one of the worst faults that could 
have been char^^ed ao^ainst that office. But this 
is hardly credible. At any rate it was not known 
to the public, and is very doubtful in fact. The 
General had a reputation for bravery in the 
Revolution that was honestly earned. The miser- 
able squabbles at Detroit had not become so far 
known outside that any one had discovered his 
personal foibles and infirmity of purpose; and ver) 
good soldiers have had weak points, and been led 
into ridiculous positions by such anno)ances, with- 
out losing their military qualities. The selection, 
so far as we can now see, was justified by exist- 
ing appearances. With the aid of subsequent 
events to suggest a full inquiry, we can now, with 
that ex post facto wisdom, which no one then could 
be expected to possess, easily see that the indecision 
and readiness to avoid trouble which led him into 
so much mischief, and his fussy attempts to per- 
suade others and himself that he had some energy. 


had not been of entirely new origin, although ad- 
vancing years had made it easier to yield to them 
and harder to resist them. He had never, durino- 
his Revolutionary career, held command of an 
army, or any command of any great responsibility, 
or one which called for much more than personal 
bravery and devotion, which he certainly had shown. 
He had been sent on two missions to Canada, 
one to General Haldimand, to seek the delivery 
of the posts, in i 784, and one to Governor Simcoe, 
during the pendency of Jay's negotiations, to ar- 
range for the access of commissioners to the 
western Indians in our Territory. In the former 
he accomplished nothing. In the latter he was 
certainly evaded and misled, by the address of 
Simcoe, and showed very little sagacity. In both 
he had talked with vigor and spirit, and in both 
he had been easily satisfied. The British gover- 
nors had resorted to much personal flattery and 
attention, which he greatly appreciated, and prob- 
ably produced some effect on his judgment by so 
doing. In the steps which led to the final sur- 
render. General Brock deliberately and understand- 
ingly calculated on the result, and worked on his 
fears with a confidence which would have utterly 
destroyed the British expedition, if any one else 
had succeeded to, or assumed command. It is not, 
indeed, to General Hull's discredit, that his char- 
acter was open enough to enable those who were 
dealing with him to discern his defects. And they 
were of that character which are very seldom 
recognized by their possessor. 


The war was declared on the i8th of June, 
1812. News of it should have reached General 
Hull several days earlier than it did; and, as he 
received one communication of that date from 
Washington, written earlier in the day, by express 
on the 24th, it may be assumed that the same 
diligence should have informed him on that day, 
or the next, of the declaration. News reached 
Maiden on the 30th of June. It reached Hull, 
near the River Raisin, on the 2nd of July. As 
declarations of war are not made in a corner, 
and as the British would not have been foolish 
enough to have no means of immediate knowl- 
edge at Washington, there was no reason why 
the British post should not have been informed 
as early as any Americans near by. Maiden was 
practically nearer Cleveland, where Hull's dispatch 
was sent from, than Hull himself was. But there 
was equally no reason why every exertion should 
not have been made to inform the Americans. 
The fall of Mackinaw w^as due directly to the 
fault of the War Department in failing to send 
news. The- fall of Detroit may be palliated by it 
just so far as it was affected by it, which was very 
little, if at all, as this happened six weeks later. 

Governor Hull spent the winter of 1811-12 
in WashincTton, and knew^ all that was croino- on. 
It is possible that he entertained the idea that a 
Bridsh \var would be avoided. He felt much 
more kindly to the Bridsh than most Americans 
did, except in a small part of the country; and on 


his journey down, he had been furnished with a 
passage across the lake by a British armed ves- 
sel detailed on purpose; — a handsome courtesy 
recognized by our journals, and creditable to both 
parties. But he himself expected Indian hostili- 
ties, and he knew perfectly well that the adminis- 
tration expected war with Great Britain. He knew 
that the force under his command was raised with 
that anticipation, if not for that immediate service. 
He also knew that Congress had, by sufficient 
majorities, adopted legislation that would have 
been absurd except in that view. The infatuation 
that could make any reasonable man suppose war 
would not be declared, after all these prelimina- 
ries, was marvellous, and would be incredible, if 
we did not know there were sections of the coun- 
try, and other more able men than General Hull, 
among his old neighbors, that entertained that no- 
tion. That a general sent out to the frontier 
with an army, did not at least feel bound to act 
in all his course as if war might be declared at 
any moment, and then one party or the other must 
do some fiorhtinof, was one of the fatalities of 
Hull's unfortunate career. No administration could 
have delayed it, and it is strange he should have 
thought so, it such was his notion. 

The invasion of Canada was very openly dis- 
cussed early in the winter. Before accepting com- 
mand, General Hull had, in writing, expressed his 
views on the subject, in which he plainly expressed 
his opinion in favor of putting at Detroit a force 


adequate to protect that place, as an alternative, 
and not as an appendage to a plan for getting 
control of the lakes ; and that, with Detroit pro- 
tected, the Indians could be kept from Maiden, 
and the British, unable to hold Canada without 
them, would leave it, and the command of the 
lakes would be obtained without a fleet. Mr. 
Eustis did not corroborate his statements concern- 
ing his further representations, as being quite as 
positive as he asserted them from recollection to 
have been. Before the middle of January, the 
President had been not authorized but required 
to add to the regular army a force of more than 
25,000 men. On the 6th of February he was 
authorized to accept 50,000 volunteers. On the 
14th of March a loan of eleven millions was au- 
thorized. On the 4th of April an embargo was 
laid. And during all this time the necessary sup- 
plementary laws were passed, for supplies, ord- 
nance and ships, and for organizing the customary 
corps and appliances for the staff department. 

It was during this period that the President 
called for 1,200 Ohio volunteers, and planned a 
movement to Detroit with an army including those 
and the 4th Regiment of United States Infantry, 
which had been engaged in the Battle of Tippe- 
canoe, and was commanded by Colonel Miller, 
who afterwards obtained distinction on the Nia^'ara 
frontier, and was made famous by his modest ''111 
try, sirr Hull, after declining command in the 
first instance, afterwards accepted it, and did so 



unconditionally. The volunteering went on very 
rapidly, and much greater numbers came in than 
had been called for, but all were accepted. Three 
regiments of foot and a considerable force of 
cavalry were mustered in. Duncan McArthur, 
James Findlay, and Lewis Cass, were chosen 
colonels of the first, second and third regiments. 
Their other field officers were Majors James Denny 
and William A. Trimble of the first, Thomas Moore 
and Thomas B. Van Home of the second, and 
Robert Morrison and J. R. Munson of the third. 
It is not known or reported that there was in the 
whole command an unworthy officer of any 
standinor. Some of them were men of tried 
bravery and personal distinction. All the superior 
officers were already well known and trustworthy. 
Colonel Miller's command was one never surpassed 
in soldierly qualities, and Duncan McArthur was 
spoken of by Brock as "an officer of high repu- 
tation." All of them soon earned it. 

Some stress has been laid by Hull's apologists 
upon the fact that the troops were chiefly militia 
men, and not under proper subordination. They 
were no part of the ordinary militia, in the proper 
sense of the term, and were the same kind of 
troops that in all our wars have been the chief 
reliance of the government. One of Hull's con- 
spicuous faults was his notion (drawn partly, per- 
haps, from his old experience with Steuben) that 
troops who were not trained and apparelled ac- 
cording to the army regulations were not to be 

Chap. XI. J VOLUNTEERS. 275 

implicitly trusted. He had before made trouble 
in Michigan by this finical disposition, and it may 
have been one of the causes of dislike which 
arose in the army quite early. No one doubts 
that it is advantageous to secure uniformity and 
system in little things as well as in great, w^hen it 
can be done without too great delay and the sacri- 
fice of other things. But it is idle to expect vol- 
unteers to become martinets, and it is very ques- 
tionable how far it is best to go in that direction. 
In the wars of the west, there was a great deal 
of hard fighting in a very rough way, and those 
were generally found to be the best commanders 
who least annoyed their men. It is very certain that 
if there was insubordination it did not interfere very 
seriously with the proper work of the army, although 
there was some which arose from its being kept 
back from its work. This fault-finding with the 
volunteers is the less to be respected, if the court 
was justified in finding him guilty on the specific 
charge of neglecting the inspection, training and 
exercise of these troops, during the period between 
his arrival at Detroit and the surrender. The 
testimony covered the whole period after he took 
command; but the court very justly exonerated 
him from liability for such neglect on the march 
through the wilderness, but condemned him for the 

On the 30th day of June, Hull and his army, 
after a tedious and fatiguing march of nearly three 
weeks, arrived at the Rapids of the Maumee, a 



few miles above the present city of Toledo. On 
the 24th, as before stated, Hull had received let- 
ters from Washington saying nothing about the 
declaration of war, but urging haste. He had 
also heard from Sejcretary Atwater, at Detroit, 
that affairs looked threatening. On the 24th 
Colonel McArthur also received letters showing 
that an immediate declaration was certain, and that 
it must before that have been made. General 
Hull refused to credit this, although coming from 
sure sources, because he could not imagine any 
one could be informed earlier than himself. On 
the first day of July he sent forward, by vessel, 
some of his invalids, his baggage and entrenching 
tools, and hospital stores, and a trunk containing 
all his instructions and military papers, with the 
muster rolls of the whole army. Three officers' 
wives went as passengers. A smaller vessel, under 
charge of a surgeon's mate, was sent up at the 
same time. The army moved on by land the same 

The laroer vessel sailed throug^h the main 
channel of the Detroit River, which passes in a 
narrow space between Maiden and Bois-blanc 
Island, and was there captured on the next day. 
The smaller vessel followed the American channel 
west of Grosse He, and reached Detroit without 
interruption. The first specification against Gen- 
eral Hull under the charge of treason, related to 
sending the vessels to Detroit, with his sick men, 
papers and baggage. Although he successfully 


pleaded to the jurisdiction of the court martial to 
try him for treason, the court were satisfied he 
had no treasonable design, and so certified, and 
also acquitted him of criminal neglect in the 
matter. It is very doubtful whether he knew of 
the transmission of his papers before the vessel 
sailed. But as they were in the hands of his son, 
whom he had a right to trust, he was not at 
fault for not making special inquiry on the subject 
of their transmission, and so the court found. 

It was discovered, some time before they 
reached the Maumee, that those among the Indians 
whose fidelity was doubted had already left the 
country and gone to Canada. The number of 
these from Ohio was not very great. The road 
to Detroit was not difficult, and it was traversed 
at the rate of twenty miles a day. One day (the 
4th of July) was spent at the Huron River, near 
Browmstown, in building a bridge. Having learned 
of the declaration of war the day after leaving 
Maumee, there was some anxiety about an attack 
from Maiden. But no difficulty occurred, and the 
troops arrived at the Sandhill, at Springwells, just 
below Detroit, on the evening of the 5th of July. 
This spot, just above the present fort, was then re- 
markable for a multitude of small springs or natural 
wells, amounting to hundreds, a few^ feet apart, 
and generally coming up to within a few inches 
of the top of the bluff, in holes of from three to 
six inches in diameter. On the continuation of 
the knoll, not many rods below, were three Indian 


mounds, circular in form, one of which was covered 
w^idi timber. These were removed when the 
present Fort Wayne was built, and were found 
full of Indian remains and ornaments. The sand- 
hill and springs, which have been destroyed by 
removal of much of the bank, reached consider- 
ably further up the river than the fort. This 
beautiful spot was known among the French as 
Belle Fontaine, and was, on account of its dryness 
of soil and salubrity, a favorite camping ground. 
It was the camping place of the troops who, 
twenty years later, were sent out against Black 
Hawk ; and six years thereafter, for a few hours, 
of the motley array that were enlisted in the 
so-called Patriot War. As a point commanding 
the river both up and down from the only bend 
in it, the place is of military value and now fortified. 

Immediately on reaching Detroit, the army 
clamored to be led to Maiden. Colonel Cass 
had been sent to that fort to communicate with 
the commander, St. George, concerning the persons 
captured on the Cuyahoga schooner. He had 
opportunities to see its condition, and made it 
known to the general. The latter put himself 
upon the terms of his Washington letters, and 
refused to move without orders. On the 9th, the 
orders came, authorizing him to commence offen- 
sive operations; and, after dallying a day or two, 
he moved across to Sandwich, at the centre of 
the present town of Windsor, and issued a spirited 
proclamation, which was penned by Cass, and which 

Chap. XI. | HULL'S INERTNESS. 279 

General Brock found much in his way.' This 
ended his serious work of invasion. Cass and 
McArthur, with others, made several expeditions 
and reconnoisances in force, and demonstrated the 
weakness of that part of the Province, — McArthur 
pushing up the Thames as far as the Moravian 
towns, and bringing back considerable supplies, 
and Cass reaching the Canard River, five miles 
above Maiden, and driving back from the bridge, 
where a battery was erected, its original guard 
and reinforcements sent up from Maiden, and only 
pausing when darkness set in. The refusal of 
Hull to follow up their advantage was a charge 
on which he was convicted. The garrison at Mai- 
den was actually preparing to evacuate the place, 
in expectation of an attack which they had no 
force to resist. 

I The following passages from Brock's Life are fully sustained by 
Brock's official and private letters : 

" The invasion of the western district by Brigadier General Hull, and 
the artful and threatening language of his proclamation, were productive 
at the outset of very unfavorable effects among a large portion of the 
inhabitants of Upper Canada; and so general was the despondency, that 
the Norfolk militia, consisting, we believe, chiefly of settlers of American 
origin, peremptorily refused to march. 

* * * -jf i« ]\Jq|. only among the miiitia was a disposition evinced 
to submit tamely, but five hundred in the western district sought the 
protection of the enemy. It is true that the people were then far removed 
from the seat of government, and the more subject to hostile influence, 
as they were principally composed of French Canadians and of the natives 
of the United States, or their immediate descendants ; but even the 
Indians, who were located on the Grand River, in the heart of .the pro- 
vince, positively refused, with a few exceptions, to take up arms ; and 
they announced their intention, after the return of some of their chiefs 
from General Hull, to remain neutral, as if they wished the authorities 
to believe that they would remain in peace in the midst of war." — Ltje 
oj Brock, p. 204-5. 


General Brock, complaining of the apathy or 
disaffection of the people, referred to the success 
of ''one Watson, a surveyor from Montreal, of a 
desperate character," in penetrating unopposed 
with a small cavalry force as far as Westminster.' 
This was no doubt Captain Joseph Watson, at one 
time Secretary to the Governor and Judges, and 
City Register. 

The story of this period has been amply told 
by many others. Maiden was exposed and weak, 
and its condition was known to the army, not only 
from Cass, but from spies and prisoners. The 
capture was certain, and would have given the 
Americans command of the Detroit River and its 
approaches, as well as broken up the Indian head- 
quarters ; and the line of supplies would have 
been open by land to Ohio and Indiana, as he 
had anticipated in his manifesto of March 6th to 
the Department. The Indians along the Ameri- 
can side of the Detroit River did not go over to 
the British until the early part of August, and then 
did it unwillingly, if not under compulsion; and if 
Maiden had been taken, it would probably never 
have happened. No vessel could have gone up 
and down the river without coming within easy 
range of batteries. The British vessels were not 
formidable against land-batteries, and, more- 
over, during all this time the American ves- 
sel, Adams, was idle at the navy-yard on 
the River Rouge, repairing, but capable of 

I liiock's Life. 199. 

Chap. XI.] DELAYS. 281 

Speedy fitting, and stronger than the Queen 
Charlotte. Within a very short period after the 
surrender she was armed by the British with i8 
guns, as the " Detroit," and on the 8th of October 
was captured near Buffalo, with the Caledonia, by 
Lieutenant Jesse D. Elliott, of the navy. She was 
burned and General Hull lost some of his bagp-ao-e 
and papers in her. 

Up to the fourth of August, there was no in- 
timation given by the General to the Secretary 
of War, that he felt any anxiety for lack of forces 
or support. In his letter of July 9th, in answer 
to that allowing him to move forward, he does in- 
deed say that he does not think his force equal 
to the reduction of Amherstburg, and that the Sec- 
retary must not be too sanguine, but that he will 
do everything possible to be done. But on the 
2 2d he speaks much more decidedly. He writes 
that he is making preparations for the siege, which 
will be ready in two weeks; that his army is able 
to take Maiden by storm, but thinks it would be 
with too great a sacrifice under present circum- 
stances; that he is making preparations for an 
attempt on the Queen Charlotte, and that if Mai- 
den was in his possession he could march his 
army to Niagara or York in a very short time. 
At this time he knew there was to be no lake 
force, and he asked for no reinforcements, and the 
tone of his despatch was that of a resolute and 
firm commander. His communications had not 
been disturbed, and no detachments of Indians 


DELAYS. [Chap. XI 

had been sent across the river. The ordinary 
mails came through in about fifteen days from 
Washington, and he had never sent expresses, 
which could have gone in half the time, or resorted 
to any cypher or other device to prevent mischief 
by this interception. He did not inform the Sec- 
retary of the opinions or urgency of his officers, 
but left him to understand that they were all of 
one mind with him; and in every instance when 
he resorted to a council, he followed it if a single 
vote of an inferior officer made a tie or a ma- 
jority against action, though opposed by the su- 
perior officers ; and when the majority was in favor 
of prompt action, he as uniformly disregarded it. 

The long delay, and the General's obstinacy in 
refusing to allow any decisive action, led to all 
the worst evils that followed. Knowing the delay 
in his own advices, he must have known the Brit- 
ish would get news of the war to the upper coun- 
try first, as he was in the only American line of 
travel. He took no steos to forward advices, and 
does not seem to have paid any heed to the ex- 
istence of Mackinaw, or the dangers it must in- 
evitably run from a surprise. It was a very im- 
portant post in his own civil jurisdiction, and the 
lives of its garrison and people were as important 
as those of his Detroit neiofhbors. He had dwelt 
much in his former communications to the gov- 
ernment upon the influence of the trading com- 
panies over the Indians, and their inveterate ha- 
tred to the Americans; and the prospect of the 


capture of Mackinaw, and of the consequent let- 
ting loose of the northern tribes upon the lower 
country, was one which could not have escaped 
his notice, if he had given ordinary thought to his 
duties. The capture of that post, and the rising 
of these tribes, are dwelt upon in his apology 
and defence as justifying his timid course after- 
wards. But they were inevitable, unless by some 
vigorous course at Detroit. The rallying place 
of British influence at Maiden could have been 
broken up; and he had, in March, declared that 
this would be an effectual measure, as no doubt 
it would have been. If he had been more dili- 
gent beforehand, and less astounded afterwards, 
the long list of massacres on our borders would 
have been diminished, if not entirely prevented. 

The news of war reached the British post at 
the Island of St. Joseph, and the American friends 
and abettors of the British at the Sault, about 
the middle of July. The force of regulars sent 
from there was forty-two men and four officers, 
which probably comprised most of the garrison. 
On the 1 6th of July they started for Mackinaw. 
The expedition consisted, besides, of the armed 
brig Caledonia (afterwards captured with a large 
cargo of furs at Buffalo, and doing good service 
under Lieutenant Turner in Perry's fleet), 250 Ca- 
nadians, servants and agents of the Northwest 
Company, and traders, and 500 Indians, the sava- 
ges being under command of Robert Dickson, 
and John Askin, Junior, and his son. The white 


Canadians were led by John Johnston, Crawford, 
Pothier, Ermatinger, La Croix, Rolette, P>anks, 
Livingston and others, all traders. From 80 to 
100 Indians joined them on the way, and they 
found about 70 allies In Mackinaw. 

Lieutenant Porter Hanks, a brave and estim- 
able gentleman, commanded at Mackinaw, with a 
garrison of 57 effective men and officers. On the 
16th, he had hearci from an interpreter some 
rumor of an intention of the Indians at St. Joseph 
to make trouble, and the coolness of the chiefs at 
Mackinaw induced him to believe mischief was 
brewing. He consulted with the American gentle- 
men on the island, and it was agreed to send 
Captain Michael Dousman of the militia, who 
volunteered to go out and watch the Indians. He 
started in the evening near sunset, and was 
captured about 15 miles out. The British landed 
that night on the side of the island away from the 
fort, at a beach ever since known as the British 
Landing. Dousman gave his parole to take the 
people and assemble them on the west side of the 
island, and put them under protection of the 
British guard, warning them not to go to the fort, 
and telling them, if any resistance was made from 
the garrison, there would be an indiscriminate 
massacre of the whole population. He also agreed 
not to inform the commander of anything. Pursu- 
ing these directions, he succeeded in collecting the 
people, and in concealing all movements from the 
garrison, until the surgeon Dr. Day, passing 


through the village, noticed and inquired into the 
excitement, and informed Hanks, who at once 
prepared for defence. He discovered, however, 
that the height known as old Fort Holmes, a short 
distance back of the fort, and completely command- 
ing it, was already occupied by the British with 
artillery, and that resistance was useless. This 
was the first notice he received of the declaration 
of war. He did not surrender until he had sent 
three American gentlemen, besides his officers, 
with a flag, to ascertain the force ot the enemy, 
and obtained honorable terms; nor until the un- 
animous opinion of both garrison and citizens 
declared it necessary. 

The prisoners marched out with the honors of 
war, and were paroled ; and Lieutenant Hanks 
and his associate officers arrived at Detroit with 
the news, on the 29th of July. The inhabitants 
who refused to take the oath of allegiance were 
compelled to leave the island. Some of them be- 
came more than submissive, and were active and 
willing renegades. The conduct of the Indians at 
Mackinaw, as well as subsequendy in the lower 
country, showed that they were sufficiently under 
control of some, at least, of the British officers and 
agents, to restrain their savagery until allowed to 
indulge it by their white leaders ; and while these 
deserve such credit as is due for any forbearance, 
the responsibility for outrages actually committed 
in the presence and under control of similar 
agents elsewhere, is jusdy chargeable to all who 
intentionally favored or allowed them. 


Whatever allowance may be made for the old 
predilections of those traders who had taken up 
their abode in the United States, without electing 
to retain their British allegiance, their voluntary 
and unnecessary enlistment in such expeditions 
was a plain act of treason, for which they deserved 
punishment. But by some strange oversight in 
the subsequent legislation of Congress, or by an 
interpretation of their statutes which was at the 
extreme verge of liberality, every one of the 
settlers at Mackinaw, Green Bay, or the Sault 
Ste. Marie, who occupied land on the first of 
July, 1812, was confirmed in it, as a donation and 
not as a right, although the testimony was clear 
that nearly the whole Green Bay settlement, and 
many of the people at Mackinaw and the Sault, 
were actively disloyal. How far, if at all, Dous- 
man, against whom the land office affidavits were 
very strong, was engaged in active disaffection, 
was never judicially examined. Some of the 
commissioners regarded the charges as malicious. 

The arrival of Lieutenant Hanks disturbed 
Hull's quiet, and gave him natural alarm, and he 
called for reinforcements on the day when he 
received the news. But he spoke in the same 
confident tone to the Secretary, and to Governors 
Scott and Meigs, as he had done before, with the 
air of a general who had been constantly on the 
alert, saying : '* The operations of this army have 
been hitherto successful, and it is of the greatest 
importance that the objects should be effected." 


It is needless to add that those patriotic gover- 
nors acted with their usual promptness, and that 
Detroit was not lost through their remissness, nor 
from any reason to fear their duty would not be 

Colonel Proctor reached Maiden a day or two 
before the arrival of Hanks. He came by Lake 
Erie and brought no force with him. But the 
news from Mackinaw had its natural effect in de- 
ciding the Brownstown Wyandots, under Walk-in- 
the-Water, to submit or adhere to the British. 
Information being received that Captain Henry 
Brush of Ohio was coming up with supplies, Hull, 
on the 4th of August, detached Major Van Home 
of Findlay's Regiment to meet and escort him. 
Proctor sent over a force of soldiers and Indians 
to intercept him, and he was, after a gallant fight, 
compelled to return. On the day when he sent 
down this detachment, General Hull had written 
to the Secretary of War, informing him of the 
movements on the upper Thames by Major 
Chambers of the British army, whom he expected 
to hear from as gathering the Indians and militia to 
reinfdrce Maiden, but who, as it turned out, failed 
to accomplish anything, because they would not 
join him. He also mentioned Proctor's arrival, 
and the capture of the Brownstown Indians, b\' 
whites and Indians from Maiden, as not unwilling 
captives. He speaks of consulting the principal 
officers, and says, as if there had been no discord, 
that an attempt to storm the fort without artillery 


was deemed unadvisable. He also shadows forth 
the Idea that possibly he may be compelled to re- 
cross the river to keep open his communications 
with Ohio, and states that "I am constantly obliged 
to make a strong detachment to convey the pro- 
visions between the foot of the rapids and De- 

Some of these statements are singular, when 
compared with the testimony and his own defence. 
Van Home's was the first detachment he had ever 
sent out for the purpose, and this, in view of the 
known facilities of Proctor to send troops and In- 
dians over from Maiden, was represented by Mc- 
Arthur, at least, to be, as it was, grossly insufficient. 
One of the charo^es Hull was convicted of was 
neglect of duty in not keeping open his commu- 
nications, and in sending out Van Home without 
adequate force. He leaves the Secretary to infer 
that he has always kept them open, that a large 
force was necessary to do it, and that it might 
need a movement of his entire army. This move- 
ment meant, as was afterwards avowed, a conver- 
sion of the whole army into a couple of garri- 
sons at Brownstown and on the Raisin, which 
would have left Detroit with no considerable force, 
and which would almost have insured the capture 
in detail of the whole line. But in fact this pro- 
ject of re-crossing the river, though submitted to 
a council on the first of August, had been unan- 
imously scouted; and the opinion was given, with 
no serious, (if any) dissent, that the only effectual 

Chap. XT.| MAIT, CAPTURED. 289 

way to keep open communications with Ohio was 
to take Maiden. The General assented to this, 
and, upon the assurance that the artillery would be 
ready in a day or two, it was carried by Hull's 
casting vote that they should wait for the artillery. 
At this time one of the two guns was ready, and 
the other nearly so, and prepared in five days 
after. All the colonels were in favor of an im- 
mediate movement. 

The mail was sent on immediately behind Van 
Home, with a small mounted escort, which caught 
up with him and was captured during the en- 
gagement. It is a little singular, and shows dili- 
gence and activity in Proctor, as well as a lack 
of secrecy or fidelity in some one in the Amer- 
ican camp, that both \'an Home's and Colonel 
Miller's detachments, which started in the even- 
ings of the 4th and 8th of August, were encoun- 
tered in the morning at Brownstown and Mon- 
guagon, by forces sent across the river by boats 
during the night. Monguagon, the present site of 
Wyandotte, (the old home of Walk-in-the- Water,) 
is about six miles from Maiden, and Brownstown 
not far from the same distance, and the river is 
very wide, with islands intervening. The news 
must have gone down on the Canada side much 
faster than the troops did on the American side. 

The letters captured in the mail at Browns- 
town were very dismal, and furnished Brock with 
the intelligence of Hull's state of mind, which gave 




him confidence to assume a bold front and count 
on success.' 

On the 6th of August, the artillery being 
ready, General Hull issued an order to attack 
Maiden on the 8th. On the 7th everything was 
completely prepared, when (as Hull says, because 
of certain letters received from Generals Porter 
and Hall on the Niagara, intimating that a force 
was moving westward from that quarter,) he 
suddenly, and against the indignant remonstrances 
of his officers, ordered a retreat across the river ; 
and the army, except a small detachment left in 
an entrenchment, crossed that evening. In his 
then asserted desire to open his communications, 
and his subsequent profession of a wish to spare 
the effusion of blood, which has since come to the 
front as a reason for self-gratulation for daring to 
be governed by humanity, he proposed to take his 
whole army back to the Maumee. How it would 
tend to save the blood of the Michigan settlers, 
to leave them unprotected, and with the assurance 
that the American army would not help them, 
to the tender mercies of the thousands of savages 
who were expected to overrun the country, is not 
manifest. His whole defence against the principal 
charp^es aofainst him is based on this notion of 
saving blood. But when he came out from 
Washington, if he did not expect to fight British, 
he did expect an Indian war, and all its attendant 
horrors. He knew that Tecumseh was determined 

I Brock's Life, p. 267. 


to clear the land of the Americans, and that the 
natural process of depopulation was by unlimited 
massacre and barbarity, and that this would come 
unless there was fighting. The whole experience 
of the west had shown that when the Indians once 
begin mischief they never end it until they are 
thoroughly put down ; and that the first sign of 
timidity is an infallible invitation to the use of 
tomahawk and scalping knife. That Hull would 
not have quailed from danger that was merely 
personal is very possible. He had certainly been 
brave enough in his youth. But his conduct 
during the whole period, from the arrival of Hanks 
to the surrender of Detroit, can only be honestly 
as well as charitably explained by supposing him 
to have been completely unmanned and confounded 
by his responsibilities and surroundings, which 
before he had as strangely failed to appreciate. 
He was entirely lacking in executive ability; yet 
fond of asserting himself. He was afraid to take 
decisive action, and a chronic procrastlnator, and 
these defects relieved him from the most serious 
imputations of disaffection which would otherwise 
have been inevitable. If he had not been found 
lacking in ordinary military qualities, no chant}- 
could have saved him from worse charges. 

There is no doubt, as he complains, that from 
this time forth, and probably very much earlier, 
his officers did not conceal their opinions of his 
conduct. The proposal to retire upon the Mau- 
mee was met by an unequlvoca^l avowal that his 


troops would not follow him. It became clear 
that he had become disposed to avoid any fight- 
ing. It is quite likely that thus early he saw in- 
dications that his command might be divested, then 
or soon after, and active measures enforced by 
others; for when the time drew near for the final 
act in the drama, the two most active volunteer 
colonels were on detached service. As early as 
the 1 2th of August, Cass and McArthur had in- 
formed Governor Meigs that Hull had talked of 
a surrender, and they had then determined to dis- 
place him. And he probably had either informa- 
tion, or else sufficient shrewdness left, not only to 
know that they would never tolerate a surrender, 
but to know, or infer, how they would have pre- 
vented it; and he managed to thwart them. 

During the interval of five days, when his army 
was awaiting the completion of the siege guns 
for attacking Maiden, occurred the most tragic 
affair for which he was immediately responsible, 
and for which neither General Hull, nor any one 
else, has ever given an explanation. That he ap- 
preciated the act, or desired, or actually expected 
the horrid result, his worst enemy would never 
have charged against him. But, so far as can be 
known, he kept his action from the knowledge of 
his officers, and yet confided it to some one who 
made it known to the enemy. And it may be 
remarked that the coincidences of evil are so 
many, that it seems almost certain either that Hull 
himself was a traitor, which no one supposes, or 


that he had a spy or traitor constantly with him, 
having means of getting possession of his plans. 
But that person, whoever he was, has not been 
detected and identified, and no reasonable sus- 
picions have ever been aimed at any one. 

On the 9th of August, 1812, a Potawatamie 
chief named Winimeg, or the Catfish^ — said to have 
been a faithful friend to the Americans, and a 
private friend to the Kinzie family, — made his ap- 
pearance at Fort Dearborn, with a letter from 
General Hull to Captain Heald, the commander, 
ordering him to evacuate the post and proceed 
with his command overland to Detroit, leaving it 
to his discretion to dispose of the public property 
as he thought fit. Chicago was at this time sur- 
rounded with Indians, and had been for some time 
in a state of siege. Colonel Anderson, of the 
Michigan Second Regiment, at the Raisin, notified 
General Hull on the 5th of August, that the Indi- 
ans were swarming in from the west towards 
Maiden. Winimeg privately informed Mr. Kinzie 
that he knew what was in the letter, and urged 
him to dissuade Heald from obeying it, or to per- 
suade him, if he did so, to depart at once, before 
the surrounding Indians found it out. But as the 
post was strong and well supplied, he urged that 
it would be safe to hold out, as they had done 
some time, for reinforcements. The Indians never 
made much impression on any defended post, and 
this advice was wise ; but Heald insisted he must 
obey orders, and yet dallied several days and ag- 


gravated the danger. His associates and the 
civihans in the fort, who were experienced in In- 
dian ways, protested against his giving up the fort; 
but he was stubborn. He says in his report that 
the Indians knew of his instructions as soon as 
he did himself, and came flocking in from all 
quarters to receive the goods which he was to 
distribute. During the delay, Tecumseh sent over 
a message to the Indians informing them that 
Hull had crossed the river, and would no doubt 
soon surrender, and calling on them to arm and 
come over. In spite of all this, Heald was infatu- 
ated enough to imagine that the Indians had such 
a regard for him that they would not molest him 
if he set out. On the 13th, Captain Wells, who 
was a near relative of Mrs. Heald, and an adopted 
Indian chief, having heard of the state of things 
at Chicago, came over from Fort Wayne with 30 
Miamis to escort Heald thither if he should be 
mad enough to leave. Wells failed to make any 
more impression on Heald than the rest had done, 
although he assured him it would be almost cer- 
tain death to go out. On the 14th Heald de- 
stroyed the liquor, and surplus arms and ammu- 
nition, and gave everything else to the Indians, who, 
although angry at the waste, committed no violence 
before he left the fort. There were some chiefs 
who were friendly to the garrison, though hostile 
to the Americans, and they warned Heald that the 
Indians were enraged at his destruction of the 
liquor and ammunition, and would murder them 


all. One, the Black Partridge, took off a medal 
which he had received from the United States, 
and returned it, saying his young men could not 
be restrained from shedding their blood, and he 
could not wear it as an enemy. He, however, 
was active in saving several ot the party. 

On the 15th, they set out from the fort, at nine 
o'clock, with drums beating and in military array. 
Wells had blacked his face, in token of expected 
death. They had marched about a mile and a half 
from the fort, when they were attacked from be- 
hind a row of sand hills. The Miamis took no 
part on either side, and after a bloody fight, in 
which ^S out of 66 soldiers were killed, as well 
as two women and twelve children, the remainder 
surrendered and were spared, though made pris- 
oners and treated very harshly. The story of the 
massacre, and of the sad fortunes of the survivors, 
has been made familiar by the narratives of Mrs. 
Helm, Mrs. Kinzie, and others, and need not be 
enlarged upon. Mrs. Helm afterwards discovered 
the scalps of some of the victims, for which boun- 
ties had been paid by Colonel Proctor, and her 
fearless exposure of the fact led to further im- 
prisonment and insult. 

In his narrative, and in his defence, Hull claims 
to have had no military authority except over 
Michigan and the army at Detroit, and towards 
the Maumee. He even asserts the fall of Chicago 
as having added to the Maiden troops before the 
surrender, and as having been referred to in a 


letter received by him on the 6th of August. 
Chicago was not connected with any of his com- 
mand; and the mystery remains why he ventured 
to assume such an authority, and why, if having 
authority, he could have been so utterly ignorant 
and reckless as to send what, if obeyed, was a 
death warrant. And it is still further a mystery 
what spy or traitor at once disclosed and circu- 
lated the news. It is said to have become known 
afterwards that the Indians were acting under 
British orders, but whether this be so or not, they 
certainly got their intelligence from that quarter, 
and it started as soon as Winimeg, who did not 
eet his own knowledoe from Hull. 

On the 8th of August, Colonel Miller set out 
with a detachment towards the Raisin, to join 
Captain Brush. They rested at Monguagon that 
night. The next morning they had an encounter 
with a strong force of British and Indians, in 
which Miller was victorious. He was compelled, 
however, after waiting in vain for provisions, to 

On the I 2th or 13th, Brock arrived at Maiden, 
with 40 regulars and 260 militia. At this time 
the American outpost in Sandwich had been 
evacuated, and the British began constructing 
batteries near by. On the evening of the 14th, 
they were discovered, and Captain Dalliba asked 
leave to attack them, and said : '' Sir, if you will 
give me permission, I will clear the enemy on the 
opposite shore from the lower batteries." The 


General answered : " Mr. Dalliba, I will make an 
agreement with the enemy, that if they will never 
fire on me, I will never fire on them," completing 
his answer with the aphorism, " Those who live 
in glass houses, must take care how they throw 

The Canada batteries were in the same place 
with those which had been erected on the 5 th of 
July, just before Hull had arrived, which had been 
broken up by Captain Dalliba, under Major 
Whistler's orders, before Hull's arrival, from the 
24-pounder battery at the lower end of the town. 
Whistler was then in command. On the 14th, 
Hull ordered McArthur and Cass to march with a 
considerable force to the River Raisin, by an 
inland trail running back from the border, by the 
way which has since been known as the Ypsilanti 
and Tecumseh trail, striking the Raisin some dis- 
tance up, at Godfroy's trading post. This road had 
been taken by General Wayne when he first came 
to Detroit. Captain Brush had been directed, on 
the 14th, to go up and meet them. On the 15th, 
Brock unmasked his battery, and sent over a 
demand for a surrender, coupled with the stereo- 
typed threat, that if resisted, he could not control 
the Indians. This demand was received by Hull 
about 10 o'clock in the morninor. At this time a 
court of inquiry was sitting to examine into the 
surrender at Mackinaw. Upon seeing the white 
Hag, Colonel Miller adjourned the court, and 
Captains Fuller and vSnelling were sent to receive 



the flacr. Lieutenant Colonel McDonald and 
Captain Gleig were the bearers, and were taken 
blindfolded to the house of Major Henry J. Hunt, 
and detained for Hull's answer. The answer was 
not given until about 3 o'clock in the afternoon, 
when it was handeci over. This reply was a proper 
one, that the general was prepared to meet 
Brock's force and any consequences from its use. 
It contained, in addition, a disclaimer of two acts 
in Canada, one an unauthorized flag of truce 
which had gone about a month before, while Cass 
was at the Canard, without that officer's know- 
ledge, and the other the burning of a house when 
the battery in Canada was abandoned a few 
days before, either destroyed by accident or by 
others than the troops. It does not appear that 
any explanation had been demanded of these acts, 
or that complaint had been made of them recently, 
if at all. On the same day, Hull sent out a 
message to recall Cass and McArthur. They had 
been gone not far from twenty-four hours when 
the messenger started, and had been sent on 
urgent business. They were reached in the even- 
ing of the 15th, and the detachment hurried 
back by a night march, and arrived at the River 
Rouge the next morning, about the time of the 

On receiving Hull's message, the Canadian 
guns opened upon the town, and the cannonade 
was kept up until late in the night, being vigor- 
ously responded to from the American batteries, not 


without effect. The summons was understood to 
be the prelude to an attack, and on the afternoon 
of the 15th, Major (afterwards General) Jessup, 
who was Hull's brigade-major, inquired into the 
arrangement of the forces, which were all ordered 
to be posted in proper positions. Colonel Brush 
was to command the Michigan militia, at the up- 
per end of the town, which bordered on his farm. 
Colonel Findlay's regiment and the Michigan Le- 
gion, (a corps of four companies of experienced 
soldiers, under Major Witherell, Judge of the Su- 
preme Court, and a Revolutionary officer,) were 
to form back of the town, where the remainder 
of McArthur's and Cass's regiments were also 
stationed. These positions not being well-chosen, 
were changed before daylight the next morning, 
so that Findlay's regiment was moved further 
west, where he commanded the approaches to the 
town under cover of lines of high picket fences 
along the road ; and the other Ohio troops were 
subsequently, or about the same time, joined to 

The movement of the enemy towards Spring- 
wells, and the collecting of boats and moving up 
of British vessels, began before darl^ on the 15th. 
Captain Snelling had been sent clown to the Sand 
Hill, with a few men and a small field-piece, to 
watch the crossing and report, and to return be- 
fore daylight. It was urged by him, and by Major 
Jessup and General Taylor, that one or two 
24-pounders could be placed so as to drive off 


the vessels and command the crossing. A proper 
place was found on high ground, but Hull re- 
fused, on various pretexts, all of which were shown 
to be insufficient. Both Jessup and Snelling begged 
permission to cross and spike the guns, but vainly. 
No movement was made by the enemy to cross 
during the night, nor until 7 o'clock in the morn- 
ing of the 1 6th. At this time the troops and 
guns were all well posted near the town, so as 
to command the approaches, and Lieutenant An- 
derson had a battery on the bluff directly com- 
mandino- the road and ravine where the British 
would be obliged to cross the Savoyard on a 
narrow bridoe. No resistance was made to their 
landing at Springwells, and no attempt was made 
to harass them on the road — about three miles 
long — which was lined most of the way, on one 
or both sides, wdth close pickets and orchards, 
which could have been made available to annoy 
them. There were also two or three bridges along 
the road, the destruction of which would have 
made any approach difficult. The British bat- 
teries in Canada opened in the morning, and were 
answered from the American batteries. 

After sonfe time two balls took effect in the 
fort, killing Lieutenant Hanks, Lieutenant Sibley, 
Dr. Reynolds, and two privates, and wounding Dr. 
Blood. Up to this time, the forces outside had 
not been allowed to do anything against the ene- 
my, who were advancing 750 strong up the River 
Road. Upon the fatal result of these balls, which 

Chap. XI. J 


appeared to bewilder and terrify him, Hull im- 
mediately sent over his son and aid (Captain A. 
F. Hull) with a flag of truce, to Canada, to Gen- 
eral Brock, whom he supposed to be there. At 
this time, and through the morning of the i6th, 
(although there was some conflict as to the ap- 
pearances on the 15th), there was a general agree- 
ment among the majority of the witnesses that 
Hull showed signs of extreme agitation and fear ; 
that his appearance was squalid, and his face stained 
and filthy with tobacco juice, and his self-posses- 
sion entirely destroyed. 

It has been gravely urged that opinions of 
eye-witnesses cannot be given to show their im- 
pression of a man's state of mind, from the ap- 
pearance of his countenance and his actions. 
General Hull has laid great stress upon this, and 
some others have thoughtlessly followed him, and 
arraigned the court martial as unfair for receiv- 
ing it. Such an objection is so palpably absurd 
to any one who has ever paid attention to testi- 
mony, and the means of proof of human emo- 
tions and sentiments, that it is surprising it was 
ever started. That this testimony produced great 
effect was inevitable, as it was ver)' plain and 
forcible, and harmonized with the surroundings. 
It convinced the court, as it has convinced others, 
and as it can hardly fail to convince any one who 
does not accept General Hull's theory, which seems 
to have been that the witnesses were perjured 
conspirators, and the court a forsworn body of 

302 SURRENDER. [Chap. XI. 

administration satellites, bound to make him a 
scapegoat for the transgressions of the President 
and War Department. 

During this time the British, under Brock, 
were advancing up the road, and approaching 
within a mile of the fort. Hull ordered Findlay's 
regiment to march into the fort, where there was 
no room for such a crowd to do anything. Be- 
fore they reached it, he hoisted a white flag, and 
had sent to General Brock announcing that he 
would surrender. And he did surrender, under 
the same abject terror and bewilderment, without 
the ordinary terms. His troops were not even al- 
lowed the honors of war, nor permitted to be 
discharged on parole, nor was any arrangement 
made for the benefit of the Canadians who had 
accepted his protection. He put himself entirely 
in the control of Brock, by offering surrender 
without any previous parley, and the articles as 
drawn and signed by the officers on both sides, 
were as nearly as possible the terms of an un- 
conditional surrender. He had difficulty in getting 
any officers to represent him at all, and only 
succeeded upon the representation that it was his 
act and not theirs. 

A supplementary article allowed the Ohio 
troops to go home on parole. A second supple- 
ment gave the same privilege to Major Witherell's 
Michigan troops. These conditions were no part 
of the original stipulation, nor is it explained how 
or why they were made. Cass and Mc Arthur 


had not come in, and might easily have escaped. 
The capitulation would, no doubt, — and Hull so 
intimates, — have been gladly accepted without 
them, rather than not obtained, and he says he 
included them for their own safety. Brock was in 
great dread that they would attack him in the rear, 
and if the fort had held out an hour or two he 
would have been in a very perilous condition. 
He states that he hastened his movements to 
reach the fort, and attack it, before McArthur 
could come up, knowing him to be near. No 
proof could be more conclusive that he knew Hull 
would capitulate; for the idea of a garrison of 
larger force than the assailants being unable 
to defend themselves for two or three hours, 
never could have entered the head of that 
gallant soldier.' He says in his report, somewhat 
cautiously: "Certain considerations induced me 
to agree to the two supplementary articles." 
What these considerations were, he does not ex- 
plain. General Hull himself refers to them as 
separate private agreements. No doubt it was 
for Brock's advantage not to have to furnish ra- 
tions to so large a body of men, nor could he 
probably have felt very safe in having a force of 
unparoled prisoners larger than his own army. 
He may also have had some compunctions for 

I In a private letter to one of his brothers, General Brock says : 

'' I crossed the river, contrary to the opinion of Colonel Proctor, , &c. ; 

it is, therefore, no wonder that envy should attribute to good foitune 
what, in justice to my own discernment, I must say proceeded from a 
cool calculation of the pours and contres:'—Ltfe, p. 267. 



General Hull, whose condemnation and punish- 
ment for such an unconditional surrender could 
not have been avoided. The article concerning 
the Ohio troops was made very shortly, and on 
the same day. Cass and McArthur had sent up 
Captain Mansfield to inquire into the terms of 
the surrender, with notice that they should not 
submit if it was unconditional. That concern- 
ing the Michigan troops must have been made 
later, as Major Witherell was taken down the 
lake as a prisoner, and only submitted to parole 
at Kingston. There is something curious about 
this, as Brock's report implies that it was made 
as early as the 1 7th. General Hull was, on his 
arrival at Montreal, offered his discharge on parole, 
by Sir George Prevost, without request, and was 
allowed to go home. The other officers who had 
been captured at Detroit, or while fighting else- 
where, were not so easily parted with. General 
Brock's reports are destitute of any expressions 
of respect towards General Hull, and the contem- 
porary reports of the private statements of Gen- 
eral Brock, and other British officers, indicate that 
they did not regard him favorably. ' 

The garrison and forces thus basely surrend- 
ered were enraged and confounded, as well they 
might be. The American force at Detroit, with- 
out counting Cass and McArthur's detachments, 
exceeded Brock's white army by about 400. Upon 
this the testimony is full. It is very well known 

I 3 Niles Reg., 44. 


that Indians were never of any use against a gar- 
rison in camp; and the forces of Cass and Mc- 
Arthur, with the rest, far exceeded Brock's whites 
and Indians together. When we remember the 
previous sieges of Detroit, under Dubuisson and 
Gladwin, and the subsequent events at Fort Meigs 
and Fort Stephenson, the course of Hull becomes 
so astounding that it excites our amazement to 
know what men can be led to do. when their 
judgment and courage have utterly deserted them. 
On the very day when Detroit was surrendered, 
Fort Dearborn — evacuated the day before under 
Hull's orders — was burned. At the same time 
another Hull was actively engaged in looking after 
enemies on the ocean ; and three days thereafter, 
m the Constitution, captured the Guerriere from a 
gallant enemy, Captain Dacres, who was not long 
after exchanged for Colonel Miller, one of the 
noblest soldiers of any of our wars. 

On the 1 7th of August, Captain Elliott made 
his appearance at Brush's camp, near Godfroy's 
post on the Raisin, and claimed his surrender 
under the capitulation. The oudying troops were 
not included in the articles, but Hull undertook 
to cover them afterwards. It being'the unanimous 
opinion of Colonel Anderson, Captains Rowland 
and Brush, and the remaining officers, that they 
were not within the surrender, uiey declined lo 
accede to the demand. Captain Rowland was in 
favor of remaining in camp and keeping up the 



post. In this he was overruled, and the troops 
retired. Captain Brush having been tried by 
court martial for an alleged violation of duty In 
regard to the surrender, the court unanimously 
decided that his course in refusing to hold it 
binding on his force was correct and laudable. 

A court martial was ordered in January, 1813, 
to meet on the 25th day of February, 181 3, to try 
General Hull. This court was dissolved without 
meeting. A second court convened at Albany on 
the 3d of January, 181 4, consisting of Major 
General Henry Dearborn, President; Brigadier 
General Joseph Bloomfield, Colonels Peter Little, 
William N. Irvine, J. R. Fenwick, and Robert 
Bogardus ; and Lieutenant Colonels James House, 
William Scott, William Stewart, Samuel S. Conner, 
S. B. Davis, and John W. Livingston. Martin 
Van Buren acted as special judge advocate, Philip 
S. Parker being army judge advocate. 

The trial was had on the charges and specifi- 
cations drawn up by Alexander J. Dallas for the 
first court, including charges of (i) treason, (2) 
cowardice, and (3) neglect of duty. He was ac- 
quitted upon the charge of treason, and convicted 
upon the other two charges, though acquitted on 
some of the particular specifications under charges 
2 and 3. 

The charges of cowardice on which he was 
convicted embraced, first, his retreat from Canada 
after his entry and proclamation, and other pro- 
fessions of activity ; second, fear shown during the 



cannonade and at various times ; third, a series 
of delinquencies on the i6th day of August, embrac- 
ing cowardly acts and expressions, skulking from 
danger, making no attempt to prevent the enemy's 
crossing, making no personal reconnoissance on 
their approach, and failing to offer battle, and 
other acts immediately connected with the sur- 
render. These last were hastily sending out flags 
of truce tor surrender, keeping away from the 
troops in a place of safety, giving fluctuating, 
inconsistent, and in some cases incoherent orders, 
calling troops from without into the fort where 
they were over-crowded, and the precipitate 
declaration of surrender before askingr for terms. 
Fourth, because in his surrender he did not require 
that his men should receive the honors of war ; — 
that he did not stipulate for protection to the 
Canadians who had joined him, and who would 
otherwise be liable for treason ; that he did not 
reserve the right to report to the Secretary of 
War, but turned everything over to the enemy ; 
and that the surrender was not due either to the 
superior force or means of the enemy, or to lack 
of means in his own army. 

The specifications of neglect of duty on which 
he was convicted were, first, a neglect to inspect, 
train, review and order his men, between their 
arrival at Detroit and surrender. The charges ot 
previous neglect were not sustained, because there 
was no opportunity on the march. Second, his 
delays in Canada ; third, allowing his communica- 



tions to be cut off, and failing to supply and 
support Van Home. He was acquitted of any 
criminal negligence In falling to supply Colonel 
Miller. Fourth, his failure to advance upon Maiden 
after Cass had taken the bridge on the Canard 
River ; fifth, neglect to prevent the erection of the 
Sandwich batteries, or to fortify at Springwells, 
in advance of the landing, or to annoy or oppose 
the enemy while landing. 

It has been intimated that the court made a 
wholesale and indiscriminate finding, and that the 
verdict was only qualified enough to give an ap- 
pearance of deliberation. This is not a fair state- 
ment. There was testimony, which, if this had 
been a trial by jury, would have authorized them 
to consider every one of the charges and speci- 
fications from treason downwards. That, in weigh- 
ing the testimony, the court regarded the treason 
as not proven, does not indicate that the charge 
was frivolous. Their conclusion was satisfactory 
to candid minds. If it had not been, public opin- 
ion would have criticized the remission of the 
penalty for the other acts. The editor of Niles' 
Register, after the first publication of General 
Hull's statements, used this language: "We have 
now before us the letters of this unfortunate com- 
mander. If we give all faith to everything he 
says, we must acquit him of treachery, though w^e 
may form opinions of his conduct almost as dis- 
honorable to him." ' His letters contained the 

I 3 Niles R., 57. 


whole substance of his subsequent defence, con- 
tradicting some things sworn to by witnesses 
afterwards ; and this was not the verdict of an 
enemy. Under the charge of cowardice he was 
convicted of every specification but one, which 
was that he was guilty of " forbidding the Ameri- 
can artillery to fire on the enemy on their march 
to Detroit." The evidence on this, though con- 
flicting, was that Anderson was reserving his fire 
until the enemy got in grape-shot range, near the 
crossing of the Savoyard, and the white flag went 
up before they got there. The other specific 
charges have been mentioned above. 

Under the charges of neglect of duty, he was 
acquitted of some very serious charges. Among 
those not before mentioned, and not found sus- 
tained, were neglect in sending up the vessels from 
Maumee, when he had reason to believe there 
was war, or likelihood of it ; and neglect in put- 
ting the post in proper order, and in using dili- 
gence to expedite his artillery preparations. That 
there was carelessness in regard to the vessels 
can hardly be questioned, but it was not criminal 
carelessness of such a degree as to require severe 
judgment. Upon the other matters, it appears the 
fort was not out of repair to any serious extent, 
and that he had been reasonably diligent in giving 
orders for the artillery preparations. 

Upon the other points there was really no 
conflict of fact, unless it may be supposed to have 
arisen upon the question of his state of mind. 

310 HULL'S DEFENCE. [Chap. XI. 

He never seriously asserted that he had done the 
acts which he was charged with omitting. He 
claimed that some of them were not feasible, or 
that he had reason to fear either that they could 
not be done at all, or could not be done without 
incurring risks which he felt bound to avoid. 
And he also relied to some extent upon the ground 
that, as matters had been left to his discretion, he 
was not subject to censure or responsibility for 
following it. 

If the defence of General Hull against the 
verdict of public opinion merely involved himself, 
no one would desire to dwell upon the unfortunate 
occurrences, beyond such reference as could not 
be avoided. That the surrender was unnecessary, 
and that Hull could not only have saved Detroit 
but taken Maiden, no one can doubt who believes 
in any ordinary probabilities. Nor is there any 
more doubt that most commanders would have 
done both. No one grudges the sparing of his 
life, or disputes the propriety of recognizing his 
honorable record in the Revolution, as rendering 
his pardon proper. And few would care to inquire 
whether the loss of his earlier intrepidity was due 
to physical infirmity, or a charge beyond his 
capacity to manage, or to both. He was manifestly 
unfit for his military responsibilities, in the shape 
in which they fell upon him, and he did not design 
to be treacherous. 

But the case which he undertook to make by 
his defence did not rest upon any personal dis- 


ability to do what others might have done. It 
was not apologetic, but was rested on the ground 
that he had not lost his self-possession, but had 
acted deliberately, and done what ought to have 
been done by any competent and prudent com- 
mander. And it rested on the further claim that 
a fair court could not have found against him on 
any charge, and that the witnesses and court were 
both determined and employed to ruin him, in 
order to cover up their own defaults and the sins 
of the administration. In this point of view the 
inquiry concerns the truth of history, and concerns 
also the reputation of men without whose services 
Michigan would still have been a Canadian 

Attempts have been made by many historians 
to reverse the judgments of past generations, and 
rehabilitate those who have been under censure. 
Such attempts are usually, — however fairly de- 
signed, and, however plausible, — extremely so- 
phistical, and disregard the contemporary views of 
single as well as combined facts. There is but one 
case in which they can be very serviceable. It 
sometimes happens that there is newly discovered 
evidence, which should be allowed weight. Even 
this, however, is not always decisive. After the 
lapse of many years, it may easily be conjectured 
that something has been overlooked which was 
not in fact overlooked, but was not reo-arded as 
trustworthy and conclusive. In General Hull's case 
we know what testimony convicted him, and we 


312 JUSTICE Ot" THE VERDICT. [Chap. Xl. 

know what testimony he claimed was not produced. 
We have not, as the court had, the power of see- 
ing the demeanor of the witnesses, or of the 
prisoner on the trial, nor that of seeing the various 
persons engaged in the drama. But so tar as 
personal qualities are concerned, the estimates 
and opinions of eye witnesses and acquaintances, 
and the substantial agreement of public sentiment, 
are generally safer than the conclusions of their 
successors possibly can be ; and courts of justice 
as well as the court of public opinion so regard 
them. The reputation of many of the witnesses, 
and of some of the members of the court, is 
familiar to all readers of history, and they were 
personally known to very many yet surviving in 
this region ; and both their honesty and their 
judgment are held in esteem. 

If the court had full reason to believe, and 
did believe, that Hull had failed to do what every 
commander of ordinary firmness and capacity 
should have done in his position, there was no 
escape from this verdict. Every man who, in 
civil or military pursuits, undertakes an office 
requiring skill and firmness, is liable to all the 
consequences arising from his not possessing them; 
and is morally as well as legally blameworthy for 
the failure. Any fear of consequences, which it 
is a wrong in a military commander to be governed 
by, is cowardice, whether in its meanest and most 
selfish form or not. A man who for any reason 
is afraid to do his duty, cannot avoid that imputa- 


tion. It Is rightly regarded in military law as 
next to treason, because it demoralizes soldiers 
and breaks up the power of the government. 
The recent case of Bazaine is one where no one 
ever suspected that officer of personal poltroonery, 
yet where he was justly sentenced to death for 
his neglect of duty, in not acting with that courage 
and persistency which the case demanded. The 
remission was properly left to the pardoning 
power, and not assumed by the court. If Hull 
was guilty at all, his military offence was very 
great, and the terrible consequences which actually 
followed were what might have been expected. 
The country came back under the control of the 
British, and under the ravages of the Indians. 
The advantages of Wayne's and Harrison's victories 
were all lost for a season, and the eround was 
only regained after many bloody battles and cruel 
massacres. Hull no doubt deluded himself at the 
time, (or more probably afterwards deluded him- 
self into thinking he had been led at the time) 
into believing these events might be spared. But 
he was, nevertheless, responsible for what he 
ought to have foreseen, and this blindness was 
itself, if he was not entirely right, one of the 
blamable results of his self-deception. 

The principal charges against others on which 
Hull relied for vindication are in the nature of 
what might be termed impeaching testimony, as 
indicating faults, and attempts to conceal them 
bv sinister means. In his oritrinal defence all 

314 AFTERTHOUGHTS. [Chap. Xl. 

of those were set out which then occurred to 
him, or which were deemed appropriate. Nearly 
ten years later, when the general knowledge of 
facts may be supposed to have lost some of its 
sharpness of outline, an elaborate series of me- 
moirs was printed, which left out nothing, but in- 
troduced some new suggestions and enlarged and 
dwelt more fully upon some old ones. The first 
great complaint was against the administration 
for getting him into trouble in the tirst instance, 
and afterwards trying to ruin him to save its own 
credit, by avoiding a trial as long as it dared, and 
then packing the court. 

Some suggestions in the memoir as to the 
desire to use these means in furtherance of a 
Presidential election, would not have been made 
but for slips of memory. Indeed, while it is the 
commonest and most natural thing in the world 
for a well-meaning man charged with wrong to 
try to persuade himself he cannot possibly have 
done it, and to multiply reasons to convince him- 
self that its very mischief is conclusive that he 
did not do it, such self-deception is necessarily 
brought about by means which are not satisfactory 
to the judgment of others. Hull speaks of him- 
self as having been a prisoner during a consider- 
able period. This was nominally so, as he was 
not exchanged. But there is no other instance 
during the war of a prisoner of his rank being 
so soon released and paroled, with or without 
solicitation ; and except as a personal favor from 


the enemy, there was no personally creditable 
reason for it.' He was at home within a little 
more than three weeks after the surrender — beino- 
discharged as soon as he reached Montreal. He 
was within reach of the press, in a region where 
the administration was not popular, and had every 
facility for vindicating himself and punishing the 
administration before the Presidential election. If 
this was not a proper thing for him to do before 
trial, it was vigorously done by some one on his 
behalf, and the trial was certainly not postponed 
for the purpose of getting the case beyond the 
election. It would have been gross injustice to 
prefer his exchange to that of earlier prisoners, 
though he had been bravest of the brave. But 

I The real reason is given in a letter from Colonel Baynes to General 
Brock, September loth, 1812. Colonel Baynes was Adjutant General ot" 
Canada, and an officer of high standing, who was a confidential corres- 
pondent of General Brock. 

" Sir George has also consented to allow General Hull to return upon 
his parole : he is loud in his complaints against the government at 
Washington, and the general thinks that his voice, in the general cry, 
may be attended with beneficial effects, and has allowed him to return 
and enter the lists. General Hull appears to possess less feeling and 
sense of shame than any man in his position could be supposed to do. 
He seems to be perfectly satisfied with himself, is lavish of censure upon 
his government, but appears to think that the most scrupulous cannot attach 
the slightest blame to his own immediate conduct at Detroit. The grounds 
upon which he rests his defence are not, i fancy, well founded, for he 
told us that he had not gunpowder at Detroit for the service of one day. 
Sir George has since shown him the return of the large supply found in 
the fort ; it did not create a blush, but he made no reply. He professes 
great surprise and admiration at the zeal and military preparation that he 
has everywhere witnessed ; that it was entirely unlooked for, and that he 
has no doubt that his friend, General Dearborn, will share his fate, if he 
has the imprudence to follow his example. Hull seems cunning and 
unprincipled : how much reliance is to be placed on his professions, time 
will show." — P. 289-90. 


an exchange could not have been made, and a 
trial had, before the election, even if he had been 
the first to be cared for. A note from Eustis to 
Dearborn, which is especially relied on as indicat- 
ing preparations to aid the election, was written 
December i8, 1812, long after the election was over. 

The fact, however, that a trial was appointed 
for February, 18 13, and then prevented and not 
renewed for about a year, is a circumstance 
which does call for explanation, and he dwells on 
it as showing a distrust in the pliabiHty of the 
first court, which was made up of very good offi- 
cers. This charge is very disingenuous. It is im- 
possible that he could have been ignorant of the 
reason, and on his trial no such ground was taken 
or alluded to. The facts were these : On the 
1 8th of January, 181 3, official announcement was 
made by the Adjutant General, of the exchange 
of Hull, McArthur, Cass, Findlay, Miller, and the 
remainder of the Detroit prisoners, with Winfield 
Scott and others from other quarters. The court 
martial was at once called for February 25th, 181 3. 
On the 8th of February, Sir George Prevost 
notified our government that he did not recognize 
the exchange, for reasons which, if true, were 
valid ; and that, if they claimed and asserted it, 
and were captured again, he would hold them 
guilty of violating their parole.' The difficulty 
necessarily stopped the trial, and the matter was 
not settled until December, 1813,^ when he was 

I 4 Niles R., 44. 2 5 Niles R., 213. 


finally exchanged, and a second court martial was 
called at once. The government was not respon- 
sible for the delay, and it is very questionable 
also, (though of course this would not excuse re- 
missness,) whether the delay did not save him 
from some peril. There was the same opportun- 
ity and temptation to pack the first court as the 
second. If the first court had h^ard the testimonv 
mtroduced on the trial, and viewed it. as they 
might and probably would have done, as the 
second court did, such a trial and conviction, 
coming just after the massacre of Frenchtown, 
would not have been free from the dangerous 
pressure of the general horror and indignation 
arising from that act, which was the sequel to the 
surrender; and mercy would have been very doubt- 
ful. The last trial was held when the mischief 
had been overcome in a great measure by the 
brilliant successes of Perry and Harrison, and the 
country restored ; and people were much more 
disposed to be lenient. 

The idea ot a conspiracy among such officers 
as the court and witnesses, the latter of whom 
had no losses of reputation to make up, and had 
made famous names by their subsequent conduct, 
IS too atrocious to discuss. When a prisoner 
convicted asks the world to presume that his rep- 
utation is to be so sacredly esteemed as to raise 
presumptions against the honor of a dozen men, 
who have been much better known and tried than 
he ever was, and who have acted in his case under 


rules generally supposed well calculated to secure 
justice, he goes beyond the bounds of credulity. 
McArthur, and Cass, and Miller, and Van Home, 
and Jessup, and Whistler, and Snelling — to say 
nothing of the rest, — are names that, in Michigan 
at least, cannot be easily smirched with suspicions 
of cowardice, or conspiracy or perjury. 

The memoirs create an impression that Gene- 
ral Hull had dwelt so long upon his case as, after 
ten years, to have persuaded himself that all of 
the reasons which he gives why he ought not to 
have expected to succeed, or to do anything more 
than he did, were before his mind and deliberately 
acted upon, and actually governed him. Some 
facts he has certainly forgotten, and assumed as 
very different from what they appeared in other 
testimony than his, which is at least as reliable. 
In regard to the numbers of Brock's troops, he 
resorts to a method of dealing with Colonel Snel- 
ling's testimony which is so absolutely ridiculous 
as to excite surprise. Snelling estimated the force 
of Brock at 750 regulars and militia, which is 
within fifteen or twenty of the official returns. 
On the trial. General Hull (although not admitting 
its accuracy) did not question the effect of this 
testimony, if believed, but claimed that, whatever 
the numbers were, it was not the force present 
merely, but the one which might be expected to 
come after it, which he had reason to fear, and 
which made a surrender proper in view of future 
dangers. In his memoirs, he gravely insists that 


Snelling's language indicated that 750 was only, a 
third of the whole force, and that the other two- 
thirds were regulars and uniformed troops, instead 
of showing that one-third of the entire force of 
750 was ordinary militia, and two-thirds uniformed 
regulars and militia. It appears from the official 
reports that there were 400 militia, in command 
of a major and four captains, and 330 regulars, 
consisting of 30 Royal artillery, 250 of the 41st 
Regiment, and 50 of the Royal Newfoundland 
Regiment. Colonel Snelling counted them by 
platoons, and his count was therefore very 
accurate, and slightly in excess. 

In accounting for his own numbers, Hull is 
equally unreliable. He represents in the i6th 
number of his memoirs that 1,200 Ohio militia 
and 300 regulars were all he ever had regularly 
put under his command, and that "a few strao-- 
gling volunteers, from the novelty of the scene, 
curiosity, or a desire to see the country, followed 
the army and were included in the return." Out 
of those he intimates that several details were 
made along the road, and several invalids left be- 
hind, and 180 would not cross the river, makino- 
with the rest, at least 300, to be deducted from 
his army. To this deficiency was added an offi- 
cer and 30 men left at the Raisin. The Michio-an 
troops were summarily disposed of by represent- 
mg them as drawn from a population of not much 
more than 4,000, scattered along over 500 miles 
of territory, and of no account. 


The Ohio regiments of mihtia, amounting to 
1,200 or more, were all infantry. In addition to 
this, there was a cavalry force, to which he makes 
no allusion. The whole Ohio troops, at the small- 
est calculation, were reckoned as not less than 
1,500. At Fort Findlay, on the 26th of June, the 
rolls showed there were present 1,960 of regulars 
and volunteers. The evidence on the trial showed 
that there was no lack of dragoons, to go on 
escort duty and special service, and none of these 
appear to have been regulars. Two troops of 
cavalry were included in the surrender. The as- 
sertion that General Brock's return of 2,500 troops 
captured w^as a fiction of that officer, is not en- 
tirely satisfactory, when that General enumerates 
the companies and regiments taken; and their 
forces, so far as known, would accord with his 
aggregate very closely. But the statements con- 
cerning the Michigan troops are equally fallacious. 
Although the population was small, it was within 
a narrow region, and not scattered all over. The 
troops are shown, by clear proofs, to have been 
good soldiers. Colonel Anderson, who command- 
ed the 2d Regiment on the Raisin, showed by his 
letters to Hull of August 4th, that he relied on 
his men and expected them to fight, and they 
never were disparaged. While insinuations are 
thrown out concerning Colonel Elijah Brush's 
Regiment at Detroit as disaffected, there is nothing 
to indicate they were well founded, beyond Hull's 
own assertions. Knaggs, whom he reports as go- 


ing- over to the enemy, was for many years there- 
after government interpreter. Judge Witherell's 
troops are passed over in silence. The Legion, 
originally organized in 1805, under Colonel Brush, 
was a thoroughly reliable force. Captain (after- 
wards Colonel) Richard Smythe, a very gallant offi- 
cer, commanded a company of horse belonging to 
it. Hubert La Croix was captain of another 
company, and did good service all through the 
troubles. Stephen Mack, another good officer, had 
a third company. Antoine L^equindre, also cap- 
tain in it, received the thanks of the Michigan 
State Legislature many years after, in 1845, ^^^' 
his gallantry at Monguagon, where his men and 
all the Michigan volunteers under Miller were 
specially commended. 

Justice would not be done to the Michigan troops 
by leaving the character of the First Regiment 
undefended. This reoriment had been organized 
by Colonel Brush, and w^ell drilled, long before 
Hull's arrival. Colonel Brush was a ver^• brave 
man, and had got this regiment into thorough 
effectiveness, as Hull's own course shows, — inas- 
much as he posted it on the northeast side of the 
town, which was exposed to the Indians. Its officers 
were mostly French gentlemen of character and 
spirit, proverbially fearless, and in no wa\- inclined 
to Great Britain. General Brock's own letters. 
and the memoir compiled from them, show that 
the disaffection, if any, was the other way, and 
that the French Canadians, both in Upper and in 



Lower Canada, were very lukewarm in their Brit- 
ish sentiments, and not at all disposed to be for- 
ward against the United States. Early in July, 
General Brock was informed by the Adjutant 
General of a considerable gathering of French 
Canadians at Lachine, who refused to join the 
militia, and were only dispersed by a force from 
the 49th Regiment, with artillery. Brock, in his 
confidential letters, written while Hull was delay- 
ing his movements, expressed great discourage- 
ment at the prospect, and showed that neither the 
western Canadian militia nor the Canadian Indi- 
ans would join the British Army in any strength. 
Major Chambers, who was sent to the Thames to 
enlist their services, utterly failed. The Detroit 
Regiment was made up of excellent material, and 
in the interval between the discovery that war 
existed, (made by the arrest in Canada of Mr. 
Moran and a companion,) until Hull's arrival, had 
been on the alert for an attack, and ready for it. 

The charges against the administration as en- 
tirely responsible for his failure, would not exonerate 
him, even if true as made. They amount sub- 
stantially to these: That war was declared with- 
out providing for commanding the lakes by a 
naval force, which Hull had represented to be 
absolutely necessary ; and that notice was delayed 
so that the British got the earliest news ; that 
Mackinaw fell, and the Indians were set loose on 
the lower country by reason thereof; that the 
Province of Upper Canada was more populous 


than Michigan, and had a force of 4,000 or 5,000 
militia, besides the regulars ; that Dearborn, in 
August, made an armistice, whereby Brock and his 
army were enabled to turn their whole attention 
to Detroit ; that the Indians were all in the 
British interest, and he was compelled to surren- 
der to avoid the terrible evils to be expected 
from all these forces, especially Indian massacres ; 
and that the administration found it necessary to 
ruin him to save its own credit. 

It would seem to people generally to be a 
sufficient answer to all this, to say that, whatever 
may have been the blame belonging to others, 
while it might relieve him from fault for not 
doing what it prevented, it could be no excuse 
for failing to do what he could. Whether it might 
or not have been possible for Brock to have 
brought an overwhelming force, large enough to 
have annihilated Hull, yet, as matter of fact, there 
was no occasion where Hull's force was not su- 
perior, and none where his men were not willing 
and anxious to try conclusions with the enemy. 
No superior flesh and blood hosts prevented his 
capture of Maiden, or his resistance to Brock at 
Detroit. His early experiences should have re- 
strained him from such pretexts. The same rea- 
soning which made it his duty to give up betore 
the spectre of those imaginary forces, would have 
made it utter madness, and a sin against human- 
ity, for the patriots of the Revolution to enter 
that contest. On such a theory wars should be 
disposed of by footing up the census. 


We are not concerned, in this generation, with 
covering up any faults of Madison's administra- 
tion. It had its share of failures and was often 
open to criticism, but the President, who is claimed 
to be the chief offender, has not been thought by 
the people, whose sober second-thought is usually 
just, to have forfeited the right to be respected 
for his patriotism and general fairness. The war 
of 1 812 was one which no administration could 
have resisted without popular contempt ; and those 
who attempted to prevent its successful conduct 
never got rid of the stigma which attached to 
lack of patriotism. To the northwest it was a ne- 
cessity, and it has been called, with almost literal 
truth, the Second War of Independence. 

It was undoubtedly one of General Hull's weak- 
nesses, (and a very dangerous one), that he be- 
lieved it impossible that his views and sugges- 
tions as to the proper way of conducting the ex- 
pected war should not be accepted and adhered 
to. His own witness, General Peter B. Porter, a 
very good officer, who went twice with Hull to 
visit the President on the subject of a navy, says 
that "at first it was agreed to have one; but 
afterwards it was agreed to abandon it, doubtless 
as inexpedient;" and he also states that while 
General Hull proposed 3,000 men, " the Secretary 
replied that there would not be so many ; perhaps 
2,000." It certainly would be a remarkable thing 
for an administration to allow itself to be gov- 
erned by the discretion of a brigadier general 


concerning the conduct of a war, and there is no 
proof that it did so. The notion rests on the 
assumption of the General that he had a right 
to expect it, and that his subsequent renewal of 
his programme should have bound the Secretary 
to follow it. 

The same lack of judgment appears in his 
assurance to himself, that the war could not be 
declared before the ist of July; — as if even the 
pledge of the President could have retarded the 
action of Congress. All this, however, is of small 
account, for he never, after his arrival at Detroit, 
expected a navy. The occurrences on the Niagara 
frontier were, however, important for his protection. 
But it is not clear why he was not also bound to 
keep up his own end of the line, for the help of 
the army at Niagara ; and if he had done his 
duty, the results there might have been more satis- 
factory. Dearborn's armistice would very possibly 
have provided for a cessation of hostilities at 
Detroit as well as at Niagara, if it had been 
supposed Detroit required it. To all appearance, 
a check on the movements of the Detroit army, 
if commanded as it should have been, would not 
have been in the interest of the United States. 
But, be this as it may, the act of Dearborn was 
disapproved, and neither Hull nor Brock heard of 
the armistice till after the surrender.' Brock's 

I " While on his voyage across Lake Erie, in the schooner Chippewa, 
he was met, on the 23rd of August, by the provincial schooner, Lady 
I'revost, ot" 14 guns, the commander of which, after saluting the CJeneral 


movement westward was caused by anxiety, and 
not by any relief on the New York side. He 
brought no such additional force as would have 
interfered with Hull's safety, and he is known to 
have brought all the men he could spare. His 
memoirs show that the condition of the Niagara 
frontier made him very uneasy, and that he dared 
not lesson its defences. 

The militia force of Upper Canada was dis- 
covered at once to furnish no basis for any such 
fears as are made to appear so natural in the 
retrospect. The possible thousands were not men 
under arms, but men liable to be called out. 
The numbers actually armed and enrolled were 
not great, and, while probably about as good 
material as the militia forces of the United States, 
could not be any better. Brock's first orders at 
Maiden, on the 14th of x^ugust, complained bitterly 
of the number of desertions. Hull's force of 
regulars was larger than Brock's, and his volunteers 
at least two or three times greater than the force 
of Canadian militia near Detroit, and some of these 
were not novices. McArthur's raid into the 
Thames country had completely demolished any 
theory that the country away from, the garrisons 
was dangerous. The abortive expedition of 
Chambers was quite as significant. 

with seventeen guns, came on board and gave him the first intelligence of 
the armistice which Sir George Prevost had unfortunately concluded with 
the American General, Dearborn. Major General Brock could not con- 
ceal his deep regret and mortification at the intelligence which he found 
would prevent his contemplated attack on Sacketts Harbor." — Brock'' s Life, 
p. 274. 


The fact that the news of war arrived at Maiden 
several days before Hull's army reached the 
Detroit River, gave the commander of that place 
an opportunity of taking Detroit by surprise. As 
in spite of his larger garrison and Indian allies, 
and his auxiliary naval force, he did not venture 
on such a measure, the Inference Is plain that he 
had not much confidence in his own position ; 
and so it appeared to all but Hull himself. 

The effect produced on the mind, in reading 
the vindication which the memoirs set forth, is 
such as to relieve Hull from any suspicion of 
disloyalty, and to excite a certain degree of sym- 
pathy for him, as one of those failures which 
result from being placed in a false position, for 
which he was utterly unsuited, and where his 
associates knew his unfitness and could not tolerate 
it. In a quiet community, where no perilous sur- 
roundings disturb the general security, such a 
reputable old citizen, of genial disposition and on 
good terms w^th himself, would naturally receive 
very flattering treatment, and have his faith in 
himself considerably magnified. Such exaggerations 
and suspicions as are found in his whole conduct 
are so general among the class of characters to 
which he evidendy belonged, as usually to receive 
a great deal of toleration. Few persons are so 
popular at home as the kind-hearted social mao-- 
nates, who sincerely desire to make all around them 
happy, and who, from the universal liking and 
deference which they receive, become in dme im- 

328 ACCOUNTABILITV of commanders. [Chap. XI. 

pressed with the idea, more or less clearly defined 
to their consciousness, that their judgment is in- 
fallible. No persons are slower to discover their 
own deficiencies, or to attribute their failures to 
the true cause, and few are less able to bear 
opposition or slights. 

The stern realities of border war will not 
justify deference to any foibles which endanger 
the country ; and the necessities of justice demand 
that every one shall be held to a strict responsi- 
bility, when he assumes a place where the safety 
of the community depends on his firmness and 
wisdom. The weakness which imperils such large 
interests, although it may belong to a well mean- 
ing and very amiable man, is, nevertheless, a 
moral wrong as well as a legal crime. It may 
not injure the transgressor in the eyes of those 
who have known his merits, and have not suffered 
from his faults. But it would be very dangerous 
to society if the true character of such derelictions 
of duty should be so far glossed over, as to enroll 
convicted offenders among the noble army of 
martyrs, or to give them approval when it is 
magnanimous to pardon them. 

The British Army assumed control of the 
fort and Territory, and the people came under 
the dominion of martial law. Under such a com- 
mander as General Brock, it would have been as 
tolerable as such a rule can usually be made. 
Under Proctor it was not so tolerable. 




Immediately after the surrender, the paroled 
troops returned home, and the prisoners were 
taken down the lake. At the request of his as- 
sociates, Colonels McArthur and Findlay, and 
Lieutenant Colonel Miller, Colonel Cass made a 
report to the government of the whole history of 
Hull's career as commander. This was assailed 
by a portion of the press with great malignity, 
and it was even charged to have emanated from 
Mr. Rush, as an administration defence. As his- 
tory has thoroughly disposed of these calumnies, 
and the document has been abundantly verified 
and approved, it may be passed without remark. 
The sentiments of Ohio and Pennsylvania, con- 
cerning their sons engaged in the transactions 
about Detroit, were evinced by their votes of 
thanks to the volunteer and regular forces and 
their officers. Miller, and others of his regiment, 
were brevetted for their orood conduct at Moneu- 
agon, and on other occasions named, where they 
had distinguished themselves. Cass and McAr- 
thur continued after their exchange in active ser- 


vice, and were advanced in rank by the popular 
and State action, as well as by the United States. 
Both earned a solid reputation as soldiers and as 
civil officers, and few men have done more for 
the advancement of the northwest. 

General Brock, before he departed, issued a 
proclamation, dated on the day of the surrender, 
in which he declared that the Territory of Michi- 
o-an had been ceded to the arms of His Britan- 
nic Majesty, ''without any otJier condition than the 
protection of private property T He therefore de- 
clares that, "wishing to give an early proof of 
the moderation and justice of the government," 
he announces that the laws in force shall con- 
tinue until the King's pleasure shall be known, 
so long as the peace and safety of the Territory 
will admit ; and that all the inhabitants shall be 
fully protected in their religion. He required all 
public property, and all arms, public or private, to 
be delivered up.' 

The reference to the alleged sole condition is 
remarkable. The copy of the capitulation, ap- 
pended to Hull's trial, contains the following ar- 
ticle : "Article 3d. Private property, and private 
persons of every description, will be respected." 
From the charges and specifications against him, 
this must have been assumed as correct. There 
are several verbal differences between this copy 
and the one published in Niles' Register, which 
appears to be more correct in names and various 

1 3 Niles, 25. 

Chap. XII.] PROCTOR. 331 

Other minutiae, as well as in grammar, but which 
does not contain this article at all. It appeared 
on the trial that Brock erased some words from 
the articles as drafted, but it did not clearly ap- 
pear what they were. Brock's proclamation recog- 
nizes private property (except arms, which were 
not excepted in the article as contained in the 
appendix,) but does not recognize any stipulation 
as to persons. This afterwards became material, 
and persons were not respected. It is not im- 
possible that the copies interchanged may have 
differed. If so, it is not possible to tell which 
was correct, as both must have been signed. 
Brock would hardly have resorted to a misrepre- 
sentation of fact. The omission, if made, was one 
which was of great importance, and the fate of 
several subsequent complaints shows that Proctor 
acted as if no such stipulation existed, although 
it was asserted and relied on. 

Proctor was left in command. While Brock, 
and most of the officers under him, appear to have 
conducted themselves without creating any strong 
personal dislike against them. Proctor has left in 
Detroit a reputation for brutality and tyranny 
that has seldom been equalled. Wherever our 
people came in contact with him, at Detroit, 
Frenchtown, Maiden or Ohio, their report was 
uniform. As a natural accompaniment to cruelty 
of disposition, he, although by no' means wanting 
in activity, was regarded as lacking in the higher 
attributes of a brave commander. He was prob- 


ably not an absolute coward, for he was often 
exposed to personal danger, but he had no cool 
and dogged bravery, and more than once drew 
himself away from opposing forces, where it would 
have been much more honorable to prolong re- 
sistance. His reputation is not much reverenced 
in Canada. 

On the 2 1 St of August, he issued a proclama- 
tion to organize the civil government. He or- 
dained that the courts and civil officers should 
continue in their functions, and that in the Legis- 
lative Board a majority should not be required if 
offices v/cre vacant, and that laws need not be 
adopted from the American States. The United 
States duties and taxes were to be paid to the 
military treasurer, for general expenses, and local 
revenues to be expended as before, for local pur- 
poses. The land officers and Indian department 
were superseded. He assumed the office of civil 
governor, and Judge Woodward was made 

This scheme was a just and proper one, but 
it was very imperfectly carried out. The public 
records were in part removed, and some of them 
disappeared. The worst act of spoliation related 
to land titles. The land claims confirmed by the 
commissioners, under the various statutes, for the 
benefit of occupants, or heirs or grantees of 
occupants, holding in 1796, were not finally ratified 
by Congress until April 23, 181 2, when it was 
enacted that patents should issue for all confirma- 


tions. These patents reached the Detroit Land 
Office just before or during the war, and were 
lying there awaiting deHvery at the time of the 
surrender. They were all seized or destroyed, 
although the other office records and files were 
not seriously injured. 

From a letter written by Brock to Proctor, it 
would seem that seizures of private property had 
been made for purposes of extortion. " I under- 
stand that salvage has been demanded from in- 
dividuals on several accounts ; for property re- 
covered or restored, for patents, etc. I lament 
that such a course has been adopted, for it was 
my intention, and it is now my wish, that our con- 
duct in these matters should be governed by the 
broadest principles of liberality. You will, there- 
fore, be pleased to have returned to the several 
Individuals the amount which each may have paid 
as salvage on any account." '•' '•'■'• (Life, p. 295.) 

The Indians began at once to pillage 
property and to do mischief, and some of the 
captured officers and men were insulted at Mai- 
den. On the day of the surrender, Secretary At- 
water's house was robbed of a lar^e amount of 
personal property, and many outrages were com- 
mitted in the country round. Colonel McKee, 
the British Indian agent, interfered in some cases 
to prevent such outrages, and no doubt did what 
he could. But no effective measures were had, 
and the savages made great havoc. Their old 
friendship for the French setders in some instances 


protected them from outrage, but before long in- 
sidious attempts were made to bring them over 
to British allegiance, and the suggestion of Indian 
hostility was used to persuade them. Proctor, in 
plain violation of the capitulation, resorted to such 
efforts so often and so shamelessly as to excite 
the plain-spoken indignation of Judge Woodward, 
who left the Territory a few months after, to lay 
his misconduct, in this and in other matters, be- 
fore the government and the public. General 
Harrison, after the Battle of the Thames, received 
a letter from Proctor asking protection to private 
property of inhabitants in Canada, sent under cir- 
cumstances so peculiar as to induce him to regard 
the bearer as a spy. Nevertheless, he offered him 
no indignity, but refused to notice Proctor, and 
addressed his reply to General Vincent, his supe- 
rior, to whom he gave an indignant account of 
that officer's infamous outrages, which V^incent, 
whom he respected, made no attempt to excuse 
or palliate. 

Early in the fall of 1812, Walk-in-the-Water 
and Roundhead, two principal chiefs of the Wyan- 
dots, wrote a letter to the French people on the 
Raisin, addressed to Colonel Navarre, calling upon 
them to rise and help their Indian friends, and 
threatening, if they failed, to renounce their friend- 
ship and subject them to the treatment of ene- 
mies.' The letter was short and pithy, but evi- 
dently not of Indian originating, though signed by 

I State Papers, i Ind. Aff., 371. 


those chiefs, who would have been much more likely 
to visit the Raisin themselves, if they desired to 
confer with their old acquaintances. The letter 
was at once sent up to Judge Woodward, and 
was one of the ilhistrations which he afterwards 
gave of the dishonorable methods which Proctor 
resorted to, in order to intimidate the settlers. 
The threat was not an idle one, and the conse- 
quences of it were the occasion for Winchester's 
expedition of a few weeks later. 

The immediate result oi Hull's surrender was 
a general uprising all over the west. Kentucky 
and Ohio were especially active, and General Har- 
rison was by common consent put at the head of 
all the forces, receiving a special commission from 
Kentucky. These troops were volunteers, not 
called out originally by the United States, but 
brought into the field by the enthusiasm of the 
occasion. Harrison was also commissioned for 
the same purpose by the United States. The 
Indians were very soon scattered from the Wa- 
bash, and driven northward. A campaign was 
planned tor the recovery of Michigan and the 
capture of Maiden, which was delayed by some 
untoward events, and for a time prevented by 
General Winchester, who, without orders, under- 
took to advance to the Raisin, and there met with 
a terrible catastrophe. 

The American prisoners from Detroit were 
sent over from Quebec for exchange, in October. 
At that time, it is stated, that five of the eight 


brass cannon captured at the surrender were lying 
at the chateau. Among the brass pieces in the 
fort were two captured by Stark at Bennington, 
and one taken from Burgoyne at Saratoga, as 
well as some surrendered at Yorktown. The 
British officers are said to have been greatly 
pleased at regaining possession of Burgoyne's 
trophy, which was a little three-pounder, used for 
salutes. It was afterwards recaptured by Harri- 
son at the Battle of the Thames, with two others 
from Yorktown, and is now at Frankfort, Kentucky, 
bearing inscriptions indicating its history and ad- 

General Brock was created a Knight of the 
Bath, for his capture of Detroit. His career was 
not prolonged. He was killed on the i 2th of Oc- 
tober, at the Battle of Oueenstown, and the 
American Army, as well as the British, paid him 
military honors at his funeral. 

On the 8th day of October, 1812, the Detroit, 
(formerly the American brig Adams,) an armed 
vessel of 18 guns, and the Caledonia, a smaller 
armed vessel, arrived at Fort Erie, opposite Buf- 
falo, with a number of prisoners, and with large 
supplies of stores and munitions. The Caledonia 
had a cargo of furs, estimated at from ^150,000 
to ^200,000. A portion of General Hull's family 
had come part of the way down the lake in the 
Detroit, and his and their baggage was on board. 
Lieutenant (afterwards Commodore) Jesse D. 
Elliott, with a force of volunteers from the army 


and the citizens of Buffalo, boarded and captured 
them that night. The Caledonia was run across 
to Black Rock and beached. The Detroit grounded 
on Squaw Island, and after a series of sharp 
encounters, she was finally burned. 

In the winter of 1812-13, the cold weather 
set in with severity, and it was at one time con- 
templated to take advantage of it, by crossing on 
the ice, to attack Maiden. But the mistakes and 
lack of judgment of some of Harrison's sub- 
ordinates prevented any early action, and it 
was finally checked by the course of General 

The latter had under his command a fine 
body, chiefly of Kentucky troops, made up of the 
foremost young men in the State, of great intel- 
ligence and undaunted bravery. They had gone 
into the service with the generous desire to wipe 
out the disgrace of Hull's surrender, and put an 
end to the frightful barbarities of the Indians, who 
had been encouraged by it to renew their old 
atrocities. It would be almost invidious to mention 
single names, where the whole muster-roll was a 
list of heroes. When the new Capitol of the State 
shall furnish a proper place for preserving and 
perpetuating in public reverence the names of 
our benefactors, we shall fail in our diitv if the 
soldiers of Frenchtown, and the gallant men who 
avenged them, are not made familiar as household 
words to the whole people of Michigan. 



News arrived at the Maumee that the inhabi- 
tants along the River Raisin were suffering se- 
verely from the depredations of the Indians, and 
that preparations were making to destroy the set- 
tlement in a few days. The impulses of human- 
ity stirred up the whole army in their behalf, and 
on the 17th of January, 181 3, General Winchester 
ordered Colonel William Lewis to proceed to the 
Raisin and protect the inhabitants. He reached 
the river, at the present city of Monroe, at three 
o'clock in the afternoon of the i8th, with a force 
of between 600 and 700. They found a body of 
the enemy, composed of British and Indians, 
posted in the village on the left bank of the 
stream, who opened fire on the Americans with a 
howitzer, as they approached the river ; but no 
one was hurt by it. The line of battle was at 
once formed, Lieutenant Colonel Allen command- 
ing the right wing, Major Graves the left, and 
Major Madison the centre. The whole army 
crossed at once on the ice, and Graves and Madi- 
son, in spite of the obstructions of the heavy 
pickets and fences, soon drove the enemy from 
the village. A considerable force, with the how- 
itzer, encountered Colonel Allen on the right, 
where the battle was very hot ; but by degrees 
the British and Indians were driven back, fighting 
obstinately, until at nightfall they had been fol- 
lowed about two miles into the heavy timber, 
where the darkness put an end to the conflict, 
and Lewis occupied the village. The number of 


casualties on the American side was i 2 killed and 
55 wounded. The loss of the enemy was not 
published, and, so far as the Indians were con- 
cerned, was not known, as they dragged away 
their dead. The battle was an obstinate one. 

News of this battle was sent to Winchester, 
who at once started in person, with about 250 
men, and reached the Raisin on the 20th, where 
his force, combined with Lewis's, made over 900 
men fit for duty. They were all in good spirits, 
and ready to meet any emergency. It was largely 
owing to the fault of General Winchester that 
they suffered any defeat. His personal gallantry 
and patriotism led every one to look upon his 
mistakes with leniency, and few officers have been 
more generously dealt with. 

General Winchester, like Hull, was an old Rev- 
olutionary officer. He never held rank beyond 
that of a subaltern, but his personal conduct had 
been brave and devoted, and his large means 
were unselfishly used for patriotic purposes. After 
the Revolution, he settled in Tennessee, where 
he remained in voluntary retirement, declining 
public office. Wlien the troops were enlisted 
in that part of the country, he was appointed 
brigadier general, and at one time, by some 
strange mistake, he was supposed to have super- 
seded Harrison. He had no faculty for man- 
aging an army, and the troops, when he was 
in command in Ohio, became mutinous, and 
were only pacified by the vigorous efforts of 



Scott and Harrison, in whom they placed, as well 
they might, implicit confidence. Winchester's only 
strength was in his sincere courage and devotion ; 
and for these he was well esteemed. He was 
not severely censured for his errors, because they 
were those of a brave and good, though not wise, 

The settlement near the mouth of the Raisin, 
where Winchester had his camp, was close by the 
Indian country, and only eighteen miles from Mai- 
den, which at this time was accessible by land, 
and by a crossing on heavy ice, which was much 
more convenient than any land road. The Wy- 
andot villages at Brownstown and Monguagon 
were the headquarters of Walk-in-the-Water and 
Roundhead, as well as of other noted chiefs, and 
nearly all the Indian bands which had been driven 
northward were at Maiden or in southern Michi- 
gan. The white force that had been met by 
Colonel Lewis was from Maiden, and the Indians 
were probably those of the neighborhood. Sav- 
ages prowled near the camp during the entire 
interval between the arrival of Lewis and the last 

Under these circumstances, prudence required 
the utmost vigilance. Here Winchester failed. 
He had no personal experience of Indian war- 
fare, and had no idea of the small effect of a de- 
feat in preventing them from making preparations 
for further mischief. He took no efficient means 
for fortifying his encampment ; and while the ori- 

Chap. XII.] 


ginal command ot Lewis were in quarters which 
they could have defended, and did defend, the re- 
inforcements brought up by Winchester himself 
were in an open camp. The General did not 
remain in the vicinity of his men, but was quar- 
tered in the house of Colonel Navarre, a promi- 
nent French citizen, on the other side of the river, 
and more than half a mile from the army. 

On the 2 1 St, Winchester was informed that 
the British and Indians would be down upon him 
that night, or in the morning ; but he was induced 
to believe the alarm groundless, and, in spite of 
warnings, disregarded it. Colonel Wells, who 
commanded the regulars, endeavored in vain to 
spur him up to diligence. He neglected to call 
a council, or to use any means against surprise. 
No scouts were kept out, and he omitted, in spite 
of urgent representations, to distribute ammuni- 
tion, so that many of the troops had a short sup- 
ply. Colonel Wells became so uneasy that he left 
his own men in command of his subordinate. Ma- 
jor McClanahan, and hurried to the Maumee to 
obtain reinforcements, but although led on at once, 
they came too late to save the day, and turned 
back when they learned of the surrender. 

Before day-break on the 2 2d the British at- 
tacked the camp with a heavy fire of shells and 
canister, and made a desperate assault with regu- 
lars and Indians. Lewis's force being protected 
by heavy picket fences, which were a very good 
defence against muskets and light missiles, were 


enabled to hold their own. The regulars outside 
were uncovered, and exposed to the full fury of 
the assault. Winchester and Lewis, with loo men 
out of his force within the enclosures, joined them, 
and for a considerable time held the enemy at 
bay; but the large body of Indians succeeded in 
turning their right flank, and they were compelled 
to cross the river, where, though fighting desper- 
ately in smaller bodies, they could make no united 
defence. The greatest portion of them were 
killed and scalped. No quarter was given to the 
Americans in this part of the field. Winchester 
and Lewis, with a few others, were finally induced 
to surrender to Roundhead, who stripped them 
and took them to Proctor, who commanded in 
person. Colonel Allen was killed. He was a man 
of ability and his loss was deeply felt. 

The left and centre, under Graves and Madi- 
son, maintained their position, and the small ar- 
tillery made little impression on them. Their rifle- 
men picked off the British gunners whenever 
they showed themselves, and Proctor and his white 
forces had withdrawn beyond range, so that the 
besieeed soldiers had time to eat their breakfast. 
At this time Winchester was taken to headquar- 
ters, and impressed by the barbarities he had 
witnessed and suffered, and by the suggestions of 
Proctor that the allies could not be restrained, 
and miscalculating the condition of the troops 
under Graves and Madison, he consented to a 
surrender on condition — as he reported — that the 


prisoners should be protected, private property- 
secured, and the side-arms of the officers restored 
to them at Maiden. Unfortunately, this was not 
reduced to writing — probably because not conve- 
nient, and no one in that army was then acquainted 
with Proctor. A white flag was sent to the camp, 
accompanied by Proctor in person, and by Major 
Overton, one of Winchester's staft'. Graves and 
Madison hesitated about submitting, knowing the 
habits of the Indians, and refused to do it with- 
out full assurance of safety. Proctor pledged 
himself to respect the conditions, and to send sleds 
for the wounded to take them to Maiden next 
morning, and to have them all safely guarded in 
the meantime. On these assurances they surren- 
dered. Some of the Indians immediately began 
to be insolent, and Proctor, on being appealed to 
by Major Madison, intimated it was beyond his 
power to restrain them. Madison at once ordered 
his men to protect themselves with their guns, and 
thereupon the savages were called off and did 
them no more mischief The unwounded troops 
were at once marched off towards Maiden. 

Proctor afterwards reported that the surrender 
was unconditional. Upon this he is flatly contra- 
dicted by Winchester, and the promise to Madison 
to the same effect cannot be gainsaid. Those offi- 
cers were men of unsullied honor, and no one 
can doubt their correctness. The assurances of 
Proctor were heard and verified by many others, 
and testified to by Colonel Lewis and twenty-one 


Other officers,' immediately after their return in 
March, as well as by some who were longer de- 
tained, and by civilians at Frenchtown. The reso- 
lutions passed by a meeting of returned officers, 
held at Erie on the i8th of February, 1813,^ not 
only aver distinctly all the conditions, but other 
further promises made by Proctor and Elliott for 
the safety of the wounded, and how all of them 
were disregarded. Private property of officers 
and soldiers was allowed to be plundered, and the 
officers' side-arms were never restored. Some of 
the worst atrocities to individuals were not pub- 
licly known until shortly after, though most of the 
bloody deeds which have made the River Raisin 
terribly famous occurred at once. 

The victory was dearly bought. Proctor had 
182 killed and wounded among his white forces, 
or more than one-third of their whole number. 
Of the American troops, not more than 30 or 40 
escaped, 537 prisoners were accounted for as first 
estimated, and this number was increased by 40 
or 50 afterwards ransomed from the Indians. The 
number of killed and missing was 397, a large 
number of w^hom were not slain in action but 
murdered afterwards, and a few^ subsequently came 
in and were ransomed. The loss of the Indians 
is not known, but it must have been very large. 
The men fought desperately, and were only over- 
come by numbers. 

J 4 Niles R., 83. -' 4 Niles R., 13. 


Proctor started at once for Maiden. When it 
was discovered that he was leaving no guard be- 
hind to protect the woiinded, of whom there were 
very many, he was remonstrated with, and some 
of those who were able to travel desired to ac- 
company the forces, but they were persuaded that 
they would be safe, and that the next morning 
they should all be taken safely to Maiden on sleds. 
The Indians retired to Stony Creek, a few miles 
off, and it was represented that the interpreters 
who were left behind had full control over the 
savages. Personal pledges were given to some 
of the officers, and one, Captain Hart, (a very 
highly esteemed officer, and brother-in-law of Henry 
Clay,) who had met an old acquaintance and friend 
in Captain Elliott, who had been entertained in his 
own house, received from him positive assurances 
of safety and care. 

These pledges were not fulfilled, but it is not 
certain that Elliott was responsible. The kind- 
hearted inhabitants had tenderly cared for the 
wounded in their own homes. The next morning 
about 200 drunken savages, who had been indulged 
by their white leaders with the means of a de- 
bauch at Stony Creek, came into the devoted vil- 
lage, and in council determined to kill and scalp 
all the wounded who could not travel. After 
plundering the village, they broke in among the 
wounded, and stripped and tomahawked them. 
More than 60 were burned up in the houses 
where they were confined, those who tried to es- 


cape from the fire being driven back and slain. 
The streets were strewn with the mangled bodies. 
Those who could walk we're started off for Mai- 
den, and a few were, for large sums, allowed to 
ride. Most of these were killed on the road, and 
the number taken to Maiden was very small. 
Captain Hart, Captain Virgin McCracken of 
Colonel Allen's regiment, Winchester's secretary 
Captain Woolfolk, and Ensign Wells, were slaugh- 
tered on the road. The bodies of Woolfolk and 
Hart were privately rescued, and concealed for 
burial, by some French citizens. Many prisoners 
were carried to the Indian villages on the Huron 
and Rouge, and to Detroit. Many were murdered 
and some were ransomed. Major Graves was 
seen on the Rouge a few days after the massacre, 
but his subsequent fate was never known. He 
was beyond doubt put to death. No imagination 
can exaggerate the dreadful scenes of those hor- 
rid crimes. The brutal tyrant who controlled this 
region would not even interfere to allow the bu- 
rial of the dead ; and the bodies of the murdered 
soldiers were left to be devoured by unclean 
beasts. The French inhabitants, whose testimony 
was given on oath concerning these transactions, 
described the efforts which were made to save 
some of the bodies from this pollution, and the 
details of the ravages of the dogs and swine are 
too dreadful for description. 

Dr. McKeehan, who was sent up with a l^ag 
of truce to help attend the wounded at Maiden, 


was treated shamefully by Proctor. After being 
charged with coming for improper purposes, and 
resenting it, as he had* reason, he was for a time 
employed as aid to the other surgeons ; but on 
the 2d of March he was arrested, under pretext 
of carrying on a private correspondence, and in 
a few days sent down, with Israel Ruland of De- 
troit, to Montreal, being treated ignominiously on 
the way, and on his arrival there shut up in a 
filthy subterranean dungeon for more than a 
month. No charges were ever made or alleged 
against him, and no explanation was ever given or 
guessed at, unless that he had not taken in silence 
the insulting abuse of Proctor. That officer was now 
promoted to be a brigadier general for his vic- 
tory at the Raisin, where, according to the gene- 
ral orders announcing his promotion, his gallantry 
" was most nobly displayed, in his humane and 
unwearied exertions, which succeeded in rescuing 
the vanquished from the revenge of the Indian 
warriors." Surely this was penned without knowl- 
edge of the cruel sarcasm which was conveyed 
in it. Whatever grounds for complaint existed 
against others, no one was found anywhere who 
competed with ^ Proctor in barbarity. In this he 
had neither peer nor rival. 

The massacre of the Raisin seemed to arouse 
and quicken all his malignant passions. The 
Indians who had carried off many prisoners to 
their own villages, began to bring them in for 
ransom. Ensign Baker, of the 2nd U. S. Infantry 


was captured on the field of battle, with about 20 
others, and on that same day taken a few miles 
from the Raisin, where they were left through the 
next day, while most of the Indians returned to 
the village for the massacre. Their captors on 
returning, brought thirty prisoners, and a number 
of fresh scalps. These prisoners informed Baker 
of what had occurred, and their story agreed with 
what has been obtained from many other sources ; 
for the testimony is uniform. Four prisoners were 
wantonly slain just after they were brought in. 
Mr. Baker was employed at Maiden by General 
Winchester in prosecuting inquiries concerning 
the outrages, and his report, though not complete, 
contains some details and testimony of impor- 
tance. On the 25th of February, the testimony 
showed, there were at least 30 or 40 still alive 
and in captivity in the woods. He traced Major 
Graves as on the River Rouge, on the 25th or 
26th of January, but heard no more of him. 
Robert Abbott, (afterwards Auditor General of 
Michigan,) stated that on or about the 28th of 
lanuarv an Indian woman came to his dwellinor on 
the Rouge, and told him an American prisoner 
was that morning killed in the Indian camp, 
because he had expressed hatred for the Indians. 
But whether this was Major Graves or not no one 
knows. At the date of Baker's statement, the 
mutilated fragments of the dead still remained 
scattered over the ground, and the British officers 
said the Indians would not suffer them to be 


buried. But there can be no question of the 
power of Proctor to have secured it if he chose. 

Baker was taken to Detroit on the 29th of 
January, and on that day was purchased from the 
Indians. The next day he was sent down to 
Maiden, and on the 15th of February was for- 
warded to Fort Niagara bv General Proctor. He 
gives some interesting statements concerning the 
treatment and ransom of prisoners, and mentions 
the names of several persons in Detroit, and in 
Canada, who had earned their gratitude. Thirty- 
three prisoners besides himself were ransomed at 
Detroit seven by Colonel I^lliott of Maiden, and 
one by Colonel Francis Baby, (the gentleman 
whose house was Hull's headquarters when in 
Canada). He speaks with grateful warmth of 
Major Muir, the commander at Detroit ; Colonels 
Baby and Elliott, and Captains Aikins. Curtish 
and Barrow, among^ the British officers, as also ot 
Reverend Richard Pollard, the Church of England 
clergyman at Sandwich, whose memory is still 
held in respect at Detroit, and commemorated by 
a memorial window in vSt. Paul's Church. The 
friends whom he found among the Americans at 
Detroit were numerous. Foremost among them 
all he dwells upon Judge Woodward, and his 
well-deserved eulogy should not be forgotten : 
"The exertions of these worthy people were di- 
rected, and point given to them, by our ever to 
be venerated countryman, Attgushcs B. IW^odward, 
who with unwearied zeal exerted himself in our 


behalf at Detroit: he was the Hfe and soul of 
the remaining Americans, the man to whom they 
all looked up for success in the hour of difficulty; 
for advice on every occasion. This, added to 
the intiuence he at first had with some of the 
British officers, enabled him to do wonders for 
us. This gentleman, whose exalted understanding 
entitles him to the first consideration for talents, 
appears to have no wish separate from the inter- 
ests of his country ; though eminently qualified 
to enjoy society, he gives up all its sweets to 
shield the unfortunate of his country from savage 
cruelty and British oppression." A man who 
made such a record, at such a time, is one of the 
nobles of the earth. If the history of his time 
requires his foibles and his oddities to be recorded, 
let it also be recorded that before such qualities 
as he showed during those scenes of trial, his 
weaknesses, though magnified an hundredfold, were 
of very small account. 

Among the names of those most prominent 
in these benevolent efforts, he mentions Colonel 
Elijah Brush, Major Henry J. Hunt, Richard 
Jones, Judge James May, Major Stephen Mack, 
Colonel Gabriel Godfroy, Robert Smart, Doctor 
William Brown, Oliver W. Miller, John McDonell, 
Peter Audrain, Duncan Reid, and Mr. Macomb. 
Of ladies who ransomed Kentuckians, he men- 
tions Mesdemoiselles Lasselle, Labadie, Scott, 
Hays, and others not specified. 


Of these sterling patriots, Colonel Brush was 
a son-in-law of John Askin, and Major Hunt of 
Angus Mackintosh, prominent gentlemen of 
Canada, but neither ever swerved from his duty. 
Judge May was one of the oldest citizens of 
Detroit, having lived there since \'j'j'6, and per- 
formed many public functions ; Major Mack was 
an officer of the Legion ; Mr. Audrain was Clerk, 
Register, Judge of Probate, and everything else 
which required clerkly skill and strict integrity ; 
John McDonell was in after years prominent in 
Territorial and State affairs, and an excellent 
citizen ; Colonel Godfroy was an Indian trader of 
great influence, and the others were business men 
of note. Robert Smart and Doctor Brown, lived 
to a great old age, bachelors and inseparable 
friends, quiet in their ways and full of the milk 
of human kindness, and in death they were not 
divided. They lie side by side in Elmwood, and 
the broad slabs that contain their quaint epitaphs 
cover two honest men, well worthy to be held 
in remembrance. The rest were not left without 
relatives still living among us, and have also an 
honorable reputation. 

Most of these gentlemen, and one, at least, of 
the ladies, incurred Proctor's malignant hatred for 
these works of mercy. He at once prohibited an)' 
further ransom of prisoners ; the result of w^hich 
was that so many as remained among the Indians 
forever disappeared, and the manner of their dis- 
appearance can easily be divined. If Major 


Graves was not the prisoner whose death was 
announced to Mr. Abbott, he must have perished 
speedily, as he was not seen further, and the 
River Rouge was well settled, and constantly 

On the 2nd of February, Judge Woodward, 
whose position as Territorial Secretary under 
Proctor's own appointment, gave him better means 
of knowledge than any one else, and who, as we 
have already seen, had been the resort for advice 
and help of the people of the whole region, pre- 
sented to General Proctor a very plain and direct 
letter, which put that officer to some uneasiness. 
The following Is the principal substance of it : 

" It is well known to you, sir, that the capitu- 
lation of the 1 6th of August, 1812, has suffered 
many Infractions In every quarter of the Territory, 
by the savages In the employ of the British Gov- 
ernment. The Inhabitants have borne them with 
unexampled patience. They have entertained a 
constant apprehension that when the American 
forces approach the Territory, and when an en- 
gagement has taken place, the fury of the savage 
mind at the sight of blood, and In reflecting on 
the dead they lose, and perhaps on the retaliatory 
treatment of prisoners or of the dead, which their 
cruel mode of warfare produced. Is always likely 
to drive them to an ignoble revenge on the pris- 
oners they find in the country, and the inhabitants 
of it who are American citizens. They, therefore, 
pressed the subject on your attention previous to 



the battle of the 2 2cl January, 1813, and felt satis- 
fied with your assurance, that you considered 
your own honor pledged for their effectual pro- 
tection. Since the result of that battle, facts are 
before their faces which they cannot shut their 
eyes upon. Some of them are, perhaps, unknown 
to yourself. I will enumerate some which I be- 
lieve there will be no difficulty in establishing be- 
yond the reach of contradiction : 

''First. Some of the prisoners, after the cap- 
itulation of the 2 2d January, 181 3, have been 
tomahawked by the savages. 

''Second. Some of the prisoners, after that 
capitulation, have been shot by the savages. 

" Third. Some of the prisoners, after that 
capitulation, have been burnt by the savages." 

The 4th, 5th and 6th charges include shooting 
and pillaging the inhabitants, and burning their 
houses. The Judge urges that General Proctor 
enter into some convention with the citizens, to 
rectify the evils. General Proctor having, in writ- 
ing, through his aid-de-camp, asked for proofs, 
they were furnished abundantly, and have been 
preserved and published by the United States 
Government. But he also sent a verbal message 
through Major Muir, which Judge Woodward re- 
orarded as dishonorable, and which led him to ask 
his passport. In this message Proctor asserted 
"that there was no capitulation on the 2 2d Jan- 
uary, and that the prisoners surrendered at dis- 


cretion." As Judge Woodward had not the means 
of proof on this subject, he assumed Proctor would 
not falsify it. But in this he did him more than 
justice. The part of the message which he re- 
sented, was Muir's suggestion that the French 
citizens should take the oath of allegiance to the 
King. Upon the character of such a suggestion, 
to persons remaining under a capitulation pro- 
tecting them and their property, he used very 
strong language. He immediately departed for 
Washington, and not only informed the govern- 
ment of what had passed, but at the request of 
a committee in Albany, published his correspond- 
ence, and some of the testimony, for general in- 

Proctor, relieved from the presence of a man 
whom he both respected and feared, gave full 
scope to his malice. He ordered all the inhabi- 
tants of Frenchtown to Detroit. Israel Ruland 
and Doctor William McDowell Scott were arrested 
and sent below, where they were long held in 
close imprisonment on the pretext of being Brit- 
ish subjects adhering to the Americans. Scott 
was most harshly treated, as a man of much in- 
dependence and influence. He had been in the 
Territory since 1800, and had occupied a judicial 
position under the Territory of Indiana, and was 
Marshal of Michigan. He was an Irishman by 
birth, and a very pleasant and cultivated gentle- 
man. His descendants are still in Detroit. Mr. 
Kinzie of Chicago had been previously subjected 


to infamous cruelty on some similar pretext, and 
Mrs. Helm, after three months' imprisonment 
among the Indians, was shut up another three 
months in a British prison to gratify his spite. 

But he had determined to get rid of all trouble- 
some witnesses still earlier. At the end of Janu- 
ary, when he stopped the ransom of prisoners, 
he went further, and ordered to be banished from 
the Territory all the leading Americans, except 
those of French origin and other natives. This 
explains why the proposition was made to reach 
the native French .inhabitants who had once been 
British subjects, and terrify them into swearing 
allegiance to Great Britain. On the first day of 
February, 1813, a meeting was held by several of 
these obnoxious gentlemen, to express their views 
on the subject, and the names appended embrace 
several of those mentioned by Baker. They ex- 
press their indignation at Proctor's cruelty in send- 
ing them away and separating them from their 
families in Detroit, who would be deprived of 
their protection ; declare the act a direct violation 
of the capitulation, which promised them protec- 
tion ; assert their right and duty not to submit 
to such wrongs without compulsion, and their re- 
solution to enforce against him by proceedings 
in justice all rights which can be maintained ; 
acknowledge their duty to maintain obedience so 
long as protected by the British flag, without pre- 
judice to their American citizenship ; pass a high 
encomium on Woodward, and request him to urge 


a revocation of the obnoxious order. His inter- 
vention was made in the manner already spoken 
of, and he not only failed to do them any good, 
but felt compelled to depart himself The names 
signed to this document (corrected from personal 
information so far as obtained) were, Lewis Bond, 
David McClean, William Wilson, John Dicks, Ar- 
chibald Lyon, Israel Taylor, Anderson Martin, Wil- 
liam M. Scott, David Henderson, William Russell, 
Joseph Spencer, James Patterson, George R. Chit- 
tenden, William Robertson, John Walker, Conrad 
Seek, Elijah Brush, Conrad TenEyck, Peter J. 
Desnoyers, Robert Smart, James Bennett, Richard 
H. Jones, William Brown, John McDonell, John 
Congsett, Duncan Reid, A. Langan, George Batt- 
zes (?) James Chittenden.' Of these, Mr. Desnoy- 
ers, though French, and bearing a name found in 
Canada, was not born in this country, but was a 
native of France, and settled in Detroit just after 
the Americans took possession. He was a gen- 
tleman of great worth, and died a few years since, 
universally respected. His son, Peter Desnoyers, 
then a lad, and now living, was one of the early 
State Treasurers. 

Having got rid at home of all troublesome 
disturbers of such conscience as he possessed, the 
attention of General Proctor was soon called to 
matters outside. The news of the massacre of 
the River Raisin was received with a general 
burst of indignation, and the people of Kentucky, 

I 4 Niles, 91. 


who had especially suffered from die murder of 
their friends and kinsmen, determined not to leave 
them unavenged. Steps were at once taken to 
embody large forces of volunteers in Ohio, Ken- 
tucky, and all other parts of the west, and the 
service was sought with alacrity. It became evi- 
dent that the Indians had put themselves where 
their condition was desperate, unless they could 
secure undisputed possession of their ancient 
hunting grounds; and they gave General Proctor 
plainly to understand that as they had allied them- 
selves with the Bridsh for their own advantage, 
as well as to protect Canada, it was time some 
aggressive measures were taken to drive out the 
Americans. All the available forces of' the sava- 
ges were gathered for the work, and the Bridsh 
added their share of white troops, and assumed 
the task of defeadng the army in Ohio. General 
Harrison had been unable to get intelligence early 
enough to reach the Raisin, to take part in the 
battle, and its result rendered any immediate ad- 
vance on Maiden impracdcable. It was, therefore, 
resolved to make complete preparation for a fu- 
ture attack, with forces equal to the emergency. 
A fort was thrown up at the Maumee Rapids, 
named Fort Meigs, after the Governor of Ohio. 
On the first of May, 1813, Proctor, with a large 
force of British and Indians, well supplied with 
artillery, began an attack upon the fort, then oc- 
cupied by General Harrison. The siege lasted 
undl the 5th, when it was raised, and the besieorers 



returned in some haste towards Maiden. The 
garrison had been reinforced by General Green 
Clay during the siege, and a part of his army, 
under- Colonel Dudley, after carrying out a well- 
devised plan for capturing the British batteries 
on the left bank of the river, had been led away 
by their ardor into advancing against orders too 
far, and were mostly killed or captured. On this 
occasion the barbarities of Frenchtown were re- 
newed, under the eyes and approval of Proctor. 
The Indians massacred many prisoners, and com- 
pelled others to run the gauntlet. Leslie Combs 
of Kentucky, then a boy of i8, yet a captain and 
scout of great sagacity and dauntless courage, 
was among those subjected to this cruelty, and 
his description of the occurrences has been pre- 
served and repeated on many occasions, and is 
well known. Proctor's conduct on this occasion 
was rebuked by Tecumseh, who in person inter- 
fered and stopped the atrocities, and tauntingly 
bade Proctor to go off and put on petticoats, for 
he was unfit to command soldiers. 

Soon after this Dickson, a noted trader, had 
started from Mackinaw, and gone southward 
through the Green Bay country and Wisconsin, 
gathering the Indians in force ; and early in the 
summer he arrived in Detroit, where Proctor and 
Tecumseh brought together a large army to make 
a second attempt on Harrison's defences in Ohio. 
The hopes of the Indians had been excited by 
the promise that Michigan should be set apart 


for the Prophet and his followers, and they set 
out with sanguine assurance of success. After 
various movements to conceal their plans, they ap- 
proached Fort Meigs. Tecumseh had conceived 
the plan of deceiving the garrison into supposing 
an attack had been made by the allies on an 
American force outside, — expecting by this means 
to draw out the garrison into an ambuscade. 
General Clay was on his guard, and although the 
noises were very suggestive of a fierce battle, 
and his officers were much excited and anxious 
to go out to defend their friends, he had been 
sufficiently warned to remain firm, and paid no 
attention to the mock fight. After lingering more 
than a day in the neighborhood, the allied forces 
concluded to let the garrison alone, and separated, 
a part returning to Maiden and Detroit, and a 
part moving toward Fort Stephenson, on the San- 
dusky River. Harrison had his army where it was 
ready to move eastward or westward, as might 
be necessary, as the whole line of settlements near 
Lake Erie was threatened, and it was impossible 
to be sure where the blows would fall. The coun- 
try being a wilderness, and the savages not mov- 
ing in the manner of white troops, much vigilance 
was required to keep informed of their plans. 
The forces left the vicinity of Fort Meigs on the 
27th of July. On the 31st Proctor appeared be- 
fore Fort Stephenson, with gunboats, and a force 
of 490 regulars and 500 of Dickson's Indians, 
with about 2,000 Indians under Tecumseh, 


who wc^re near by in the woods. He was 
accompanied, as usual, by Elhott, the In- 
dian agent, who was sent to demand a surrender. 
The fort was garrisoned by George Croghan, a 
young major of 21 years, with a garrison of 167, 
and one six-pounder. As usual, the demand for 
surrender was accompanied by the representation 
that it was made to prevent the effusion of blood, 
and that the Indians could not otherwise be re- 
strained. Lieutenant Shipp, who was sent out to 
meet the flag of truce, knew, as did Croghan also, 
what sort of restraint General Proctor put, upon 
his Indians, and surrender was not in their minds 
any more appropriate than it had seemed to Har- 
rison at Fort Meigs, who had expressed his opin- 
ion that such propositions, with such suggestions, 
were insulting. Shipp informed them that when 
the fort was taken, there would be no one left 
to massacre ; and he was called in by Croghan, 
not before he had been assaulted by an Indian in 
the presence of the bearers of the flag, with the 
evident design on their part of intimidating him. 
The work was not supposed defensible against 
artillery, but the little garrison strengthened it 
while the assault went on. They had no fears of 
the Indians, so long as they remained in their 
entrenchments, and they determined to hold out 
against the British until they were relieved or de- 
stroyed. All night long, and during most of the 
next day, a cannonade was kept up against the 
little fort, with no effect. The six-pounder was 


used by the defenders very sparingly, for lack of 
ammunition, but their unerring rifles kept the ene- 
my at a respectful distance. At last Proctor, 
chagrined and exasperated at the effect of the 
obstinate defence on his Indian allies, and afraid 
of Harrison's approach, determined to storm the 
fort. Croghan, calculating that the assault would 
be made against a weak angle of the fort, by first 
making a breach and then pushing up along the 
ditch, strengthened the exposed point by heaping 
up bags of sand and fiour, and placed his six- 
pounder where it would rake the approach, load- 
ing it with a light charge of powder and a double 
charge of leaden slugs. The assault was made 
late in the afternoon of the 2d of August. After 
about half an hour's conflict at close quarters, 
where the rifles of the besieged did considerable 
damage to the besiegers, Lieutenant Colonel Short, 
of the regulars, followed by his men, leaped into 
the ditch and approached the point where they 
supposed the defences had been weakened. When 
they arrived within about twenty yards the gun 
was unmasked, and the first discharge threw them 
back in disorder, and the ditch was filled with a 
mass of dead bodies, and struggling men, wounded 
and confounded at the terrible havoc. Those who 
could move at once retreated, and the whole in- 
vesting force withdrew. The number of the killed 
among the British is not known. About fifty were 
left in the ditch. The killed and missing were 
stated at 91. The wounded there were no means 


of estimatincT. The Indian loss could not be as- 
certained, as diey took off all their killed and 
wounded. The garrison lost one killed and seven 
wounded — nqne of them severely. 

During the night, Proctor departed with all his 
company, leaving behind a gun-boat loaded with 
clothing and military stores. He left to avoid 

This brilliant defence was one of the most 
glorious exploits in our annals, and Croghan was 
justly honored with universal applause. The dis- 
asters of Proctor at Fort Meigs and Fort Stephen- 
son shook the confidence of the Indians, and they 
began to regard him as a failure. But they were 
now in a desperate case. They had gone into 
Canada and in many instances taken their families. 
They had brought devastation on all the border 
country, and were dependent on the British stores 
for rescue from starvation. The United States 
had abstained as far as possible from using Indian 
auxiliaries, and this policy had been the cause of 
the defection of Walk-in-the-Water and Round- 
head. Immediately after the Battle of Fort Ste- 
phenson the head chiel of the Wyandots Tarhee, 
(or the Crane,) Black-hoof, who had fought against 
Braddock, and Big Snake, chiefs of the Shaw- 
anoes, and Tocktowayning or Anderson, chief of 
the Delawares, asked leave of Governor Meigs 
and General Harrison to take part in the coming- 
campaign. They brought 259 warriors. 


During these transactions a forged letter arrived 
in Kentucky, purporting to be signed by General 
Harrison, to stop recruiting, which was acted upon 
as genuine until orders came for speed and 
urgency. The source of it was never discovered. 

Kentucky had determined to send forward a 
large volunteer force, and enlistments went on 
with enthusiasm. The venerable Governor Shelby, 
sixty-six years of age, but still active and stirring, 
announced that he would lead them in person. 
His gallantry during the Revolution, at the Battle 
of King's Mountain, had rendered him famous, 
and just as these events were progressing the 
State of North Carolina, through the hands of 
Henry Clay, sent him a magnificent sword, in re- 
cognition of his services in that battle. Richard 
M. Johnson, afterwards Vice President of the 
United States, raised a regiment of mounted rifle- 
men, — a class of soldiers not then as well known 
as they have been since, — which turned out to be 
ot great value. Mounted rangers were in great 
demand for many branches of service, and they 
were held In mortal terror by the Indians, who 
were themselves In many Instances very bold 
riders, but never in this region did much fighting 
on horseback. 

The disaffected tribes in Michioran and Indiana 
were chiefly the Ottawas, Chlppewas, Mlamis, 
Weas and Potawatamles, although some of the 
Wyandots had been gained over, and Tecumseh 
had more or less of his own tribe with him. 


Dickson's Indians largely represented scattering 
tribes of the further west and north, between Lake 
Michigan and the Mississippi. Okemos, one of 
the principal Chippewa chiefs of Michigan, was 
present, with a party of his braves, at some of the 
engagements along the Maumee and Sandusky. 
While on the Sandusky River, they were startled 
one day by the approach of a body of rangers, 
and concealed themselves among the limbs of a 
large tree, that had recently been felled or blown 
over near the trail. The soldiers rode by without 
discovering them, but one young brave, after they 
had passed, could not resist the temptation of ris- 
ing upon the trunk and giving the war-whoop. 
The troopers were upon them before they could 
escape from their trap, and left them all for dead. 
After some time Okemos came to himself, but 
his eyes were blinded with clotted blood, and his 
limbs so mangled that he could not rise or help 
himself. Cautiously imitating the note of an insect, 
he was answered, and discovered that his brother 
also lived, but as helpless as himself. By painful 
efforts they managed to reach a little stream and 
wash their eyes and faces clear, and by crawling 
and rolling they got down to the Sandusky River, 
and into a canoe. They were unable to manage 
it, and drifted down, and were discovered and 
relieved by friends. By the time they were able 
to get about, the Americans had regained control 
in Michigan, and Okemos got Colonel Godfroy to 
intercede for him with General Cass. He after- 


wards, with the rest of the chiefs, executed a treaty 
of fidehty, and never again interfered with the 
Chemokoman. He hved to nearly a hundred 
years of age, being active and vigorous in body 
and mind to the day of his death, although a 
wound in his shoulder never healed, and his head 
was completely furrowed with sabre-cuts. His 
habits were temperate, and among his contempor- 
aries of the French, he was always welcome and 
respected. The township near Lansing, where he 
spent his later years, bears his name. His memory 
was very accurate and tenacious. 

The people were untiring in their efforts, and 
the volunteer army began to assume formidable 
proportions. About the time that the British were 
compelled to retire to Canada, Commodore Oliver 
H. Perry, of Rhode Island, had fitted out his little 
fleet at Erie, to try conclusions on the water. 
The British naval chief Captain Barclay, was a 
brave and experienced officer, and the progress 
of the American navy, which they had not been 
able to interrupt, does not appear to have given 
much uneasiness to the enemy. General Harri- 
son had made his plans to cross over into Cana- 
da by the aid of Perry's fleet, and the time ap- 
proached for aggressive measures. On the 31st 
of July, 3,500 mounted volunteers had appeared at 
Newport, Kentucky, where Shelby had called for 
less than half that number. In due time, when some- 
what disciplined, they moved northward. At Ur- 
bana the army was organized into eleven regiments, 


five brigades and two divisions. On the 15th and 
1 6th of September, the whole of Harrison's army, 
except Colonel Johnson's Regiment, was encamped 
on Lake Erie, and the prisoners taken by Com- 
modore Perry had been landed and put in charge 
of a guard. Johnson was to move round the 
lake when the embarkation of the rest of the 
troops began. 

On the 5th of August, Perry floated his ships 
over the bar at Erie into deep water, and on the 
1 2th moved westward with ten vessels, great and 
small, and reached Put-in-Bay on the 15th. Here 
he was in communication with Harrison, and their 
plans were soon matured. Barclay gathered his 
fleet in Maiden, from which place Perry made va- 
rious futile efforts to draw him out. Having as- 
certained that Proctor's need of provisions would 
compel Barclay to communicate with Long Point, 
Perry made preparations for an immediate battle, 
and on the 9th of September he determined, if 
there should be further delay, to proceed to Mai- 
den and attack the British fleet. He had received 
accurate information of the strength of each of 
Barclay's vessels, through Major Henry B. Bre- 
voort, of the army. This gentleman, whose family 
resided in Detroit, was equally at home on the 
land and on the water, and was well known to 
all the old citizens of Detroit as one of the most 
transparently honest and single-minded of men, 
brave, intelligent, and one who when he swore to 
another disappointed him not, though it were to 


his own hindrance. He rendered crood service 
in the fleet as commander of marines on the Ni- 
agara, and the knowledge which he had obtained 
enabled Commodore Perry to plan the work of 
each of his vessels in advance, so that the o-ene- 
ral scheme was arranged the night before the 
vessels came out, althouo-h some changes became 
necessary when the time of action approached. 

At day-break on the loth of September, the 
look-out from Gibraltar Island, at the mouth of 
Put-in-Bay, discovered the British fleet, and Perry 
sailed out to meet it. The vessels enoao-ed on 
the Bridsh side were the ships Detroit and Queen 
Charlotte, brig Hunter, schooners Lady Prevost 
and Chippewa, and sloop Litde Belt, carrying 63 
carriage-guns, one pivot-gun, two swivels, and four 
howitzers. The American fleet consisted of the 
brigs Lawrence, Niagara and Caledonia, schooners 
Ariel, Scorpion, Tigress and Porcupine, and sloop 
Trippe, carrying 52 guns and two swivels. The 
Lawrence and Niagara each had 20 guns, three 
of the other vessels having one oun each, and 
the others two, three and four. The British had 
more long guns, — the Americans more carronades, 
but heavier metal. The numerical forces of men 
were very nearly equal. Captain Barclay had a 
larger proportion of old man-of-war's men. 

The engagement began a quarter before noon. 
At three o'clock the Bridsh fleet surrendered, 
after one of the closest engagements known in 
naval history. No endre Bridsh fleet had ever 


been captured before. The utmost bravery was 
shown on both sides. The American loss was 27 
killed and 96 wounded ; the British 41 killed and 
94 wounded. Most of the loss in the American 
tieet was on Perry's flag-ship, the Lawrence, which 
lost 22 killed and 61 wounded. The brave vic- 
tor was as humane as he was valiant, and the 
dead of both fleets were buried together, with the 
same honors and the same solemn services, while 
the wounded were all tenderly cared for, and the 
unfortunate British commander, who was dread- 
fully crippled, was treated with the generous 
kindness which he deserved. 

Perry's subordinate commanders of vessels 
were Jesse D. Elliott in the Niagara, Stephen 
Champlin in the Scorpion, John H. Pocket in the 
Ariel, Daniel Turner in the Caledonia, Thomas C. 
Almy in the Somers, George Senat in the Porcu- 
pine, Augustus H. M. Conklin in the Tigress, and 
Thomas Holdress in the Trippe., Brevoort com- 
manded a detachment of soldiers acting as ma- 

Immediately after the enemy struck, Perry 
wrote upon his cap, on a scrap of paper, his cele- 
brated laconic dispatch : " We have met the ene- 
my and they are ours," and sent it to Harrison, 
who was on the lake shore west of Sandusky, 
about 30 miles from the scene of the battle. The 
cannonade was heard as far ofl as Cleveland, and 
Tecumseh, from his camp on Bois-blanc Island, 
had listened to the sounds, and endeavored to 


determine the result of the battle, while Proctor, 
at Maiden, was equally intent to listen. Proctor 
concealed the result from his Indian ally until it 
was impossible to prevent his knowledge of it. 
On the 1 8th, when the British General prepared 
to evacuate Maiden, the Indians became greatly 
excited and enraged at his cowardice, and he only 
pacified them by promising to make a stand at 
the Moravian towns on the Thames. Tecumseh 
felt very keenly the desperate position into which 
he and his followers had been brought by their 
confidence in the British, and insisted that Proctor 
should at least stay and fight, or leave the arms 
and ammunition to the Indians, who would resist 
to the last extremity. In contempt for his cow- 
ardice, he compared him to a fat cur, sneaking 
off with his tail between his legs, after making a 
great show of courage. Maiden was evacuated 
on the 1 8th, and an officer was left behind to 
burn up everything as soon as the American 
army made its appearance. 

The fleet was now used to bring over the 
troops from the main land. It was impossible to 
transport the horses, and these were all left in 
Ohio with a guard, while the soldiers acted as 
infantry. They at first encamped on Middle 
Sister Island, anci on the 27th of September 
crossed over the narrow space to the Canada shore 
about four miles below Maiden. They at once 
marched into Maiden and found it deserted b)' all 




its defenders. Harrison at once prepared to set 
out after Proctor, but without any expectation of 
overtakintr him until he should reach the Thames, 
where he had told Tecumseh he meant to make 
a stand. It was necessary to obtain a few horses, 
and on the 27th, Harrison wrote to Governor 
Meigs that " a miserable French pony, upon which 
the venerable and patriotic Cxovernor of Kentucky 
was mounted, is the only one in the army." On 
the eve of landing, Harrison issued a brief but 
spirited order, closing with this significant pass- 
age : " Kentuckians — remember the River Rais- 
in ; but remember it only while the victory is sus- 
pended. The revenge of a soldier cannot be 
gratified upon a fallen enemy." The sons of that 
noble State that in this war had sent out more 
than 17,000 volunteers, had come at last to their 
opportunity, and they did not abuse it. 

Proctor was at Sandwich when Harrison landed, 
and he at once moved eastward with the Detroit 
garrison and all his auxiliaries. On the 28th, the 
American Army reached Sandwich, and General 
Duncan McArthur crossed over and took posses- 
sion of the fort, which he had left before under 
such different circumstances. The overjoyed in- 
habitants were released from what had become a 
reign of terror. The fort had been fired, but the 
flames were extinguished, and General McArthur 
drove off a horde of hostile Indians, who were 
prowling round the neighborhood. The fleet 
arrived the same day. On the 29th, General 
Harrison issued his proclamation, restoring the 


civil authority ks it had been before the surrender, 
and entrusting its administration to the old in- 
cumbents when present, and to their next pre- 
decessors, if absent. Colonel Johnson's Riflemen 
came up on the 30th, and crossed into Canada 
the day after. 

The American flag is said to have been raised 
by the inhabitants before McArthur's entrance. 
But it never floated again from the old flag-staff. 
That was left bare and uncared for as a memorial 
and warning, until a few years afterwards, in June, 
1820, it was blown over by a severe wind and 
ceased to be visible over the walls. What igno- 
minious uses its ruins may have served it is not 
recorded. It was not in demand for relics. 

McArthur's command was left to hold Detroit. 
Cass's briorade was left' at Sandwich, and Harrison, 
with a force of about 3,500, on the 2nd of Oc- 
tober, pushed on by land after Proctor, — the 
smaller vessels of the fleet sailing up the Thames. 
Proctor was at last overtaken at the Moravian 
towns, and compelled to give battle on the 5th. 
The mounted riflemen dashed through the British 
line and turned it, and in less than ten minutes 
the whole force was captured, except General 
Proctor and 17 officers and 239 men. The official 
reports ot his own government show that he was 
regarded as having been guilty oi grossly dis- 
graceful conduct.' His brave ally, Tecumseh, met 

' Sir George Prevost, in his general orders, uses this severe lanp,uage : 
" On this disgraceful day, upwards of 600 officers and soldiers were taken 


a soldier's death by die hands of a very brave 
enemy, having been shot by Colonel Richard M. 
Johnson, while the latter was wounded and held 
down by his own horse, which had fallen on him, 
and Tecumseh w^as approaching to kill him. James 
Knaggs, who aided in carrying Colonel Johnson 
off the field, was intimately acquainted with Te- 
cumseh, and recognized him when pointed out by 
Colonel Johnson as an Indian whom he had shot 
in self-defence. Probably no one in the army had 
as good a knowledge of Tecumseh as Captain 
Knaggs, who had been for years an interpreter, 
and familiar with all the chiefs. The identity of 
the slayer and of the slain is as well established 
as testimony can establish anything. 

General Cass and Commodore Perry acted as 
volunteer aids to General Harrison, and he gave 
great credit to both for their efficient help in 
making his arrangements and preparations. 

On the 7th, which was the anniversary of the 
Battle of M<^ing's Mountain, Governor Shelby was 
put in command of the army, and Harrison left 
for Detroit. On the 14th he appointed General 
Cass Provisional Governor of Michigan Terri- 

The Indians beean to desert IVoctor before 
the battle. Walk-in-the-Water left him some days 

prisoners almost without a struggle, of whom but very lew appeared to 
have been rescued by an honorable death from the ignominy of passing 
under the American yoke, nor are there many whose wounds plead in 
mitigation of this reproach." — Broc/c's Life, 366. 


before, and begged permission after the battle to 
follow him up, and thus atone for his own de- 
linquency. The tribes were left by the result of 
the campaign on the verge of starvation. Harri- 
son treated them kindly, and the hostile forces, 
consisting chiefly of Potawatamies, Ottawas, Chip- 
pewas, several bands of Miamis and Weas, and 
some Wyandots, came in and gave hostages, and 
were supplied with food. The victories on Lake 
Erie and the Thames ended the Indian troubles, 
except an occasional outrage from small bands, 
not approved by the tribes. 

Several expeditions were sent out from time 
to time into Canada before the war closed. 
General McArthur, in 1814, penetrated nearly to 
Lake Ontario, and swept back along Lake Erie, 
doing much mischief to the enemy. Fort Gratiot 
was built in that year by the officer whose name 
it bears. 

An attempt was also made in 181 4 to retake 
Mackinaw, which failed, and Major Holmes, a very 
brave officer, from whom the old fort was after- 
wards named, was killed. The British were aided 
in this instance by whites from the Sault, and by 
detachments in force from Green Bay, composed 
chiefly of Frenchmen owing allegiance to the 
United States, and Menominie Indians, under their 
great chief Thomas, (usually called in imitation of 
its French sound Tomaw,) who was as remarkable 
in his gifts as Tecumseh, but less capable of self- 


The Territory now began anew its career as 
an American community. Henceforth, the evil 
influences of British jealousy and cupidity ceased 
to operate to its ruin. Though for many years 
there were occasional encroachments, the region 
was no lonoer debatable orround, and the Indians 
generally acknowledged the American supremacy. 

It is time that the men who rescued Michigan 
from its thraldom were remembered with less 
perishable memorials than the annals of the War 
Department. Even General Cass received his 
only public memorial by having a county named 
after him, in company with the members of General 
Jackson's Cabinet, and not for his civil or military 
services. Harrison, and McArthur, and Miller, 
and Johnson, and Perry, and all their brave coad- 
jutors, have been passed over in silence. The 
name of Shelby, first given to the fort at Detroit, 
was dropped for that of Wayne, and the gallant 
old orovernor has no memorial. 

As soon as careful search had discovered and 
identified the body of Captain Hart, he was ex- 
humed and buried in Detroit with every honor 
which could be paid to his lifeless remains. It 
can never be too late to perform our duty to the 
rest — now passed beyond the reach of earthly 
glory, by doing something whereby they may be 
worthily commemorated. 

A few years ago, on the 4th of July, 1872, the 
survivors of the massacre of the Raisin, and of 


the battles that succeeded it, met at Monroe, to 
review the scenes of that time of trial ; and the 
brave men who had all passed far beyond their 
three score and ten were gratified by the homage 
of the younger generations, for whose heritage 
they and their dead comrades had faced the perils 
of savage warfare, and redeemed Michigan for 
American liberty. To those for whom they saved 
it, the fame of the honored dead of Kentucky and 
Ohio should be as dear as that of Washington 
and his companions in arms, and the memory of 
that heroic struggle should bind these States 
together with the warmest love of kindred. 

Among the other benefits of the Centennial 
celebration, we ought to number the renewal and 
perpetuation of all those honorable remembrances ; 
and the evidences of our gratitude should be 
"gracious and lastinor. 



General Cass was made permanent Governor 
of Michigan Territory, and William Woodbridge, 
of Marietta, Ohio, was appointed Secretary. Mr. 
Atwater, who had left Detroit immediately after 
the surrender, never came back. The Judges 
retained their offices until the change in their 
tenure, created in 1823, by the act re-organizing 
the Territory. 

The war had scattered the people, and the 
population had fallen away considerably. It was 
not until peace was finally declared that the 
country was entirely relieved from the ravages of 
the hostile Indians. While most of them had 
made peace, and behaved reasonably well, the 
Saginaw band of Kishkaukon was very trouble- 
some. Murders and outrages were committed in 
the immediate neighborhood of Detroit, and within 
its corporate limits. The people, when they had 
a chance to reach the aggressors, followed them 
up vigorously. General Cass acted in these 
emergencies with great energy, and went out in 
person with the volunteers to chastise the marau- 



ders. After the failure of the Mackinaw expedi- 
tion, no further attempt was made in that quarter 
till the treaty of peace. Fort Gratiot, built at 
the place once occupied by Fort St. Joseph in the 
17th century, was intended, like that, to control 
the passage to and from Lake Huron, as the 
northern Indians generally travelled in their canoes 
through the River St. Clair. . 

On the 22nd of July, 181 4, Generals Harrison 
and Cass made a treaty at Greenville, between 
the United States and the Wyandots, Delawares, 
Shawanoes and Senecas on the one side, and the 
Miamis, (known as the Miami Eel River and 
Weea tribes) and a portion of the Potawatamies, 
Ottawas, and Kickapoos, whereby it was agreed 
they should all make peace, and enter into 
alliance with the United States, acknowledging 
their supremacy. On the 8th of September, 181 5, 
Harrison, McArthur, and John Graham, made peace 
with all of those tribes, as well as with the Chippe- 
was, residing in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan. 
This was not signed by very many of the Chip- 
pewa or Ottawa chiefs. Ok'emos signed it as a 
chief of the Ottawas. 

The treaty of peace with Great Britain did 
not put an immediate end to the bad feeling. 
This stipulated for the immediate restoration of 
all places captured, with all papers, public and 
private, and for determining, by commissioners, 
the boundary line in those waters where the 
position of islands or other difficulties made it 


doubtful, and pledged each government to place 
the Indians where they were In 1811. 

The British officers near Detroit paid no at- 
tention to the boundary lines, but pursued desert- 
ers into the l-nited States, and on some occasions 
undertook to assert jurisdiction over x'\merican 
citizens on Grosse lie and in American waters. 
An Indian was killed at Grosse He in the act of 
attempting to murder an American, and the com- 
manding officer at Maiden, Colonel James, directed 
an inquest, and offered a reward for the per- 
son who killed him. Governor Cass at once 
issued a proclamation enjoining the proper asser- 
tion and protection of American jurisdiction. 
Colonel Butler, commanding at Detroit, had also 
occasion to hold a sharp correspondence with 
Colonel James, concerning various infractions of 
right. In addition to other grievances, it was 
understood that Mackinaw was not likely to be 
surrendered, and that the Indians (which probably 
meant Dickson and the traders) meant to hold it. 
Maiden was retained until such arrangements 
were made as ensured the delivery of Mackinaw. 
On the first of July, 181 5, Maiden was turned 
over to the British, and an American force sailed 
for Mackinaw, and took possession. 

But the distance from headquarters, or some 
other cause, rendered some of the British officers 
in this 'region extremely insolent, and for a year 
or two there were continued aggressions. The 
American navy on Lake Erie had been dismantled, 


and the naval officers at Maiden, in 1816, under- 
took to visit and search American vessels, under 
pretext of looking for deserters, thus renewing on 
the lakes the outraofes which had led to the war. 
General Cass, on being informed of these insults, 
wrote a strong letter to the Maiden officials, and 
laid the matter before the authorities at Washing- 
ton, where no doubt the acts were repudiated, as 
they were not repeated, and were probably ex- 
cesses of instructions and mere private impertin- 
ence. The intrigues with the Indians were kept 
up, both about Detroit and in the north, and 
American territory was used in that region for 
purposes very unfriendly to the United States. 
The trading companies paid no heed whatever to 
law or international obligations. It was not until 
two Indians were hung for murder at Detroit, 
instead of being as usual despatched in more 
summary fashion, that a full check was put to 
their outrages in that neighborhood. 

The first necessity of the country was more 
people. No lands had been surveyed before the 
war, except the old private claims. In 181 2, 
among other war legislation, an act was passed 
setting aside two millions of acres of land in 
Michigan, as bounty lands for soldiers. As soon 
as the war was over, and circumstances permitted, 
Mr. Tiffin, the Surveyor General, sent agents to 
Michigan to select a place for locating these lands. 
Their report was such as to induce him to re- 
commend the tranfer of bounty locations t() some 



Other part of the United States. They began on 
the boundary line between Ohio and Indiana, 
(which was the western Hmit of the lands sur- 
rendered to the United States by the Indian 
treaty of 1807,) and, following it north for fifty 
miles, they described the country as an unbroken 
series of tamarack swamps, bogs and sand-barrens, 
with not more than one acre in a hundred, and 
probably not one in a thousand, fit for cultivation. 
Mr. Tiffin communicated this evil report to the 
Commissioner of the General Land Office, Josiah 
Meigs, and he and the Secretary of War, Mr. 
Crawford, secured the repeal of so much of the 
law as applied to Michigan. They were stimulated 
by a second report of the surveyors, who found 
the country worse and worse as they proceeded. 
In April, 181 6, the law was changed, and lands 
were granted, instead, in Illinois and Missouri. 

This postponed settlements, but it saved Mich- 
igan from one of the most troublesome sources of 
litigation which has ever vexed any country. It 
was in that way a benefit. But the report of the 
surveyors is one of the unaccountable things of 
those days. Surveyors are usually good judges of 
land, and not likely to be deceived by the water 
standing on the surface of the ground, where the 
nature of the vegetation shows the soil cannot be 
marshy or sterile. A few instances have been 
found in our Territorial and State experiences, 
where surveyors made imaginary sketches of large 
tracts, and returned them as actual surveys, when 


they had never visited the places. That trick was 
of later invention. It may be that the surveyors 
did not desire to run lines which bordered on the 
Potawatamie country, for fear of personal risks, 
which were certainly possible. But the country 
was not unknown. It had been traversed fre- 
quently by traders, and others, and was, not very 
long before, frequented by buffaloes in great 
numbers. The fact that Michigan contained so 
many Indians was proof that its lands were good, 
for they seldom congregate except in eligible 
regions. Mellish had published, a few years before, 
a very accurate general account ot the whole 
Lower Peninsula, in which the country is as well 
described as it could be in as few words to-day. 
Some have supposed the surveyors were bribed 
by those who wished to prevent settlements. 
Although there were persons interested in that 
direction, there is no evidence that they interfered. 
It is nevertheless possible that they either bribed — 
or more probably adopted the cheaper course of 
scaring — the surveying party. 

It has already been stated that during Hull's 
administration there were no counties laid out; 
and the divisions were all into districts. General 
Cass, who had much clearer notions about popu- 
lar institutions, began early to establish the 
ordinary American divisions. Wayne County, as 
originally laid out in the Northwest Territory, 
was not exactly coincident with Michigan Terri- 
tory, even in its diminished proportions. But a 



single county, covering the same geographical 
extent with an entire State or Territory, would 
be an anomaly, and a county split up into sever- 
al supreme judicial districts, would be more 
anomalous. Assuming that the surveys would be 
made, and the bounty lands located, General Cass, 
on the 2 1st of November, 1815, began the county 
system, by laying out that part of the Territory in 
which the Indian title had been extinguished, into 
Wayne County, with its seat of justice at Detroit.^ 
At the same time he divided the whole Territory 
into road-districts, coincident with the several 
militia-company districts, w^hich were already de- 
fined. No provision had yet been made for 
establishing townships, and until the people 
became indoctrinated with ideas of self-govern- 
ment, which the Ordinance had not assumed as 
one of their early prerogatives, there was no 
place for these small republics. 

In 181 2, Concrress had directed the President 
to have the northern boundary of Ohio surveyed, 
in accordance with the law authorizing that State 
to form its constitution, ''and to cause to be 
made a plat or plan of so much of the boundary 
line as runs from the southerly extreme of Lake 
Michigan to Lake Erie, particularly noting the 
place where the said line intersects the margin 
of said lake." {Aff of May 20, 18/2.) The war 
interrupted this, and it was not surveyed until 
some years thereafter. Meanwhile Indiana had 
obtained a population large enough to entitle it 


to admission into the Union. On the iQlh of 
April, 1816, the people of that Territory were 
authorized to form a State; and its boundaries, 
instead of being left as they were when Michigan 
was set off, were fixed on the north by an east 
and west line ten miles north of the southern 
point of Lake Michigan, thus taking a strip ten 
miles wide off from the southern portion of Mich- 
igan Territory. As our people had then no 
representatives, and there was no public journal 
in the Territory, this encroachment necessarily 
remained for future settlement. The State was 
admitted December ii, 1816. On the i8th of 
April, 1 818, Illinois was authorized to form a con- 
stitution, and its boundary was continued north- 
ward beyond that of Indiana, to latitude 42° 30', 
to that extent curtailing the future State of Wis- 
consin. Illinois was admitted on the 3d day of 
December, 181 8. All of the old Northwest Terri- 
tory north of Indiana and Illinois, was from this 
time made a part of the Territory of Michigan. 

On the 14th of July, 181 7, the County of 
Monroe was established. In the previous month 
provision had been made for the erection of a 
jail at Mackinaw for the use of a future count)'. 
The immediate occasion for the organization ot 
Monroe County was probably the expected visit 
of President James Monroe, who had then started 
out on his tour throucrh the Northern States. 
He arrived at Detroit about the middle of August, 
accompanied by several distinguished officers. On 


the 14th he reviewed the troops. On that occasion 
Governor Cass, on behalf of the State of New 
York, presented to General Alexander Macomb, 
a magnificent sword, in honor of his conduct at 
the Battle of Plattsburgh. Generals Brown and 
Wool were present, and probably General McNeil, 
as he went north soon after. The Detroit Gazette, 
the first regular newspaper of any permanence 
established at Detroit, made its appearance at this 
period. It was conducted by John P. Sheldon and 
Ebenezer Reed, and was an able but very caustic 
and personal journal. 

The financial affairs of the Territory were not 
satisfactory. The currency chiefly in vogue was 
Ohio paper, (which was becoming of very poor 
credit,) and private bills or shinplasters, which 
very soon became much more abundant than the 
prosperity of the country required. In parts where 
the press had not penetrated, business was carried 
on upon the system of barter, or " dicker" as it 
was then called, and occasionally specific articles 
became practically legal tenders. Among other 
things it is related that in one community nests 
of wooden bowls became current for small change, 
as shingles were subsequently in the pine country. 
There were financiers, nevertheless, who understood 
their position ; and it is related of one shrewd 
gentleman that, being in an adjoining State where 
he was personally unknown, and where some of 
his shinplasters circulated, he took part in the 
abuse lavished on them, and induced some of his 


traducers to join with him in manifesting contempt 
for such trash, by burning- it; — he setting the 
example, by throwing a large parcel into the 

In the prospect of a future growth in popu- 
lation, it was deemed proper to organize the 
University, for which provision had been made 
several years before. On the 26th day of August, 
181 7, just after Monroe and Cass had departed 
southward, an act was passed to incorporate the 
Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania. 
This institution, which was identical in law with 
the present University, contained thirteen didaxiae 
or professorships, which were sufficiently compre- 
hensive. These were to embrace (i) catJiole- 
pistemia, or universal science, the incumbent of this 
chair being President; (2) anthropoglossica or 
language, embracing all sciences relating thereto ; 
(3) mathematics ; (4) physiognostica, or natural 
history ; (5) physiosophica, or natural philosophy ; 
(6) astronomy ; (7) chemistry ; (8) iatrica or 
medical sciences ; (9 ) oecononiia, or economical 
sciences; (10) ethics; (11) polemitactica, or military 
sciences; (12) diegetica or historical sciences ; (13) 
ejinoeica or intellectual sciences, embracing all the 
episteninm or sciences relative to the minds of 
animals, to the human mind, to spiritual existence, 
to the Deity, and to religion, — the Didactor or 
professor of this being Vice President. The 
didactors or professors were to be appointed and 
commissioned by the Ciovernor, — each might hold 


more than one chair, and their salaries were pay- 
able out of the public treasury, the taxes being 
increased 15 per cent, for that purpose. The 
united faculty formed the corporation, with power 
not only to regulate its concerns, but to establish 
colleges, academies, schools, libraries, museums, 
athenaeums, botanic, gardens, laboratories, and 
other useful literary and scientific institutions con- 
sonant to the laws of the United States of America 
and of Michigan ; and to appoint teachers through- 
out the counties, cities, towns, townships, and other 
geographical divisions of Michigan. These sub- 
ordinate instructors and instructrixes were also to 
be paid from the treasury. Four lotteries were 
authorized to raise funds. The students' fees were 
not to exceed fifteen dollars a quarter for lectures, 
ten dollars for classical, and six for ordinary in- 
struction ; and the expense for poor students was 
to come from the treasury. On the same day 
the salaries of the professors were fixed at twelve 
dollars and a half, instructors twenty-five dollars, 
President twenty-five, and Vice President eighteen 
dollars. Appropriations were made at the same 
time to pay all of these, and a further sum of one 
hundred and eighty dollars, to apply on lots and 
building. A gift of two hundred dollars more was 
made a few weeks later towards enclosing the 

This plan was adopted in view of movements 
already begun, and it went at once into opera- 
tion. Rev. John Monteith and Rev. Gabriel 


Richard were appointed to the various professor- 
ships, and they forthwith estabHshed primary 
schools in Detroit, Monroe and Mackinaw, and a 
classical academy and college in Detroit. 

On the 29th of September, 1817, a treaty was 
made at Fort Meigs, between Generals McArthur 
and Cass and the Chippewas, Ottawas, Potawat- 
amies, Wyandots, Shawanoes, Delawares and 
Senecas ; whereby the Chippewas, Ottawas and 
Potawatamies, in view of their attachment to that 
church, and their desire to have their children 
educated, gave to St. Anne's Church, Detroit, and 
to the College of Detroit, each an undivided half 
of six sections reserved to those nations by Hull's 
treaty of 1807, — three of the sections being on the 
Macon Reserve on the River Raisin, and the re- 
mainder to be selected thereafter. There were 
also many private gifts and subscriptions to estab- 
lish the Detroit schools and College. One thou- 
sand pounds ($2,500) was subscribed in a single 
day in aid of the building. Probably the same 
liberality prevailed in the other towns. From that 
time on Detroit never lacked good schools. The 
first University building was of brick, twenty-four 
feet by fifty. It was used for school purposes 
more than forty years. 

The pedantry of this act, which was drawn by 
Judge Woodward, and his selection of phrases 
which are neither Greek, Latin nor English, led 
to much ridicule. But the scheme itself was 
approved, and carried out. It is by no means 


likely that he did very much more than put in 
this questionable shape a plan already agreed on. 
The other members of the Legislative Board were 
as well educated as himself, and as zealous in the 
interests of education. In many respects it is an 
admirable system, but it was found afterwards 
that it lacked accuracy and completeness, and was 
not by any means perfect. When the Territorial 
statutes underwent a general revision in 1 820-1, 
this was replaced by a less pretentious act, and 
it was never published by the Governor and 
Judges except in the newspapers. 

In considering the plan of the Catholepistemiacl, 
the suspicion naturally arises that in providing for 
a chair of catholepistemja, or universal science, 
the worthy Chief Justice may perhaps in his 
mind's eye have seen a new Bacon in the in- 
cumbent, who would vary his judicial pursuits by 
devising a newer Organon, and discourse to in- 
genuous youth dc omnibus rebus ct quibusdani ab'is. 
But Dts aliter visum. The Governor lacked ap- 
preciation, and another received the office. 

The land surveys had made such progress 
that sales were ordered in the fall of 1818. All 
the country to which the Indian title had been 
ceded, or which contained settlements, was laid 
out into counties. Macomb County was established 
January 15th, 1818, and Michilimackinac, Brown 
and Crawford, on the 26th of October, 1818. 
Brown County took in the eastern part of Wis- 
consin, with its county seat near the mouth of Fox 


River; and Crawford County the western part, 
with its county seat at Prairie du Chien. 

On the 30th of May, 1818, the duties of man- 
aging county affairs were tranferred to county com- 
missioners, three of whom were to be appointed 
in each county by the Governor. 

The Territory was now in a very fair way of 
growing. There were very few roads as yet, and 
faciHties for land travel did not abound for many 
years. But the business of Detroit was flourish- 
ing, and the country, in spite of the report of the 
surveyors, was believed to be worth seeking. The 
lakes were not yet much navigated, and all trav- 
ellers by water were obliged to take advantage 
of occasional schooners, of small capacity. Never- 
theless, the sums received in 181 7 for the carriage 
of passengers over Lake Erie to Detroit amounted 
to $15,000. This indicates a good business. The 
military road had been finished about ten miles 
beyond Monroe, and some travel came over that. 
In 1 81 8 the exports of fish and cider amounted 
to $60,000. 

The ponies which abounded in the woods, were 
very serviceable for travelling through the country 
upon the trails. These tough and sagacious ani- 
mals ran at large, and droves of them, branded, 
usually, with the name of some owner or reputed 
owner, were to be met everywhere near the set- 
tlements. When the seasons were dry, they would 
come in to the streams for water in large troops, 
and sometimes in the night they would gallop 


through the streets with a great clatter, but doing 
no harm unless where salt barrels were left ex- 
posed, when they would break them in to get at 
the salt. On a journey they were usually span- 
celled with a strap, or fettered, at night, and the 
bell which each one wore was freed from the straw 
which had bound the clapper through the day. 
They rarely strayed far from a camp. They lived 
on what they picked up on the road, and were 
very free from the diseases which attack animals 
more tenderly raised. 

In March, 1818, shoes were sent up from Detroit 
to Green Bay for the troops, by pack-horses. 
That town had been garrisoned in September, 
181 7, and the American jurisdiction had never be- 
fore been exercised there effectually, unless by 
Judge Reaume, whose authority seems to have 
belonged to universal jurisprudence. The use of 
pack-animals instead of vessels, shows the limited 
extent of water carriage. The abundance of 
horses, and the small expense of their sustenance, 
made this less costly than might be supposed. 
The winter carriage in the upper country was for 
many years conducted by dogs, and people were 
very expert in devising contrivances for their 
animals. The pack-saddle was made of light 
wood, so padded and shaped as not to gall the 
horse's back or shoulders, and everything was dis- 
pensed with which could be spared. It is not very 
many years since Indian cavalcades of these pack- 
horses were not unfrequently met in the forest, 


carrying the tent-poles and other movables of the 
wigwam, and the utensils of all sorts belonging to 
the household, with more or less of the members 
of the family perched on the pack-saddle, or 
peering out from the loading. 

On these journeys, travellers, of whatever rank, 
were compelled to take such provisions as were 
least burdensome. Hulled corn was one of the 
staples, and this, with a modicum of fat meat or 
tallow, was the chief reliance of voyageurs and 
engages. Maple sugar was largely used with the 
corn. Such game, fish, fruit, or other articles as 
were found along the road, were welcome additions 
to the frugal meal. A common form of condensed 
food was called praline, composed of parched corn, 
pounded fine and mixed with maple sugar. Corn 
was also used by the French and Indians in the 
form of a soup or broth called medaininabo. All 
wise travellers who could afford it took alone a 
generous supply of tea, and after their evening 
meal and copious draughts from their tin cups, 
they rolled themselves up in their blankets, with 
a saddle or log for their pillow, and slept soundly 
with no other shelter. 

The population had now reached the number 
authorized under the Ordinance to form a repre- 
sentative orovernment. It having^ been submitted 
to a popular vote in the spring of 1818, whether 
this step should be taken, it was voted down by 
a large majority. It is difficult for us, who have 
been educated under a system of self-government 


to comprehend the feeHngs of those who have 
been brought up under a paternal government. 
The brief period of representation in the Assem- 
bly of the Northwest Territory had not habituated 
the French settlers to our notions, and the absence 
of any local system in township and county ad- 
ministration left them entirely ignorant of its ad- 
vantages. Those who reached middle age before 
the people in the Territory became entitled to 
vote for their own officers, were not always pleased 
with the change, and some of them, who survived 
to a very recent period, never ceased to sigh for 
the good old days, when the commanding officer 
was the whole government. 

General Cass was in advance of any states- 
man of his time in his ideas of popular inter- 
ference in the selection of all grades of public 
officers. There is much difference of opinion now 
concerning the policy of electing by general vote 
those officers whose functions are not representa- 
tive. He adhered to the doctrine with tenacity, 
that the people should have a direct voice in ap- 
pointments generally ; and some matters which, 
in his subsequent national career, were occasions 
of difficulty and opposition, were the direct results 
of his consistency in his opinions on this subject. 
A man who occupied such offices as he filled at 
various times can rarely be dealt with impartially, 
until the political excitements and prejudices of 
the period have been removed. But it is due to 
his memory by all candid men, whether political 

Chap. XIII.] 


adherents or opponents, to admit that he was not 
only a patriotic and energetic officer, but above 
all things a sincere and devoted admirer and up- 
holder of America and American institutions. 
When we look at the circumstances attending the 
early existence of the Territory, and the difficul- 
ties besetting its progress, the importance and 
value of his services as Governor can hardly be 

The difficulties of the Legislative Board might 
very well have disposed him to desire a change 
in its composition. With too much good humor 
and good sense to become involved in any per- 
sonal difficulties, the want of harmony between 
his judicial associates, and the occasional present- 
ation, as an excerpt from the laws of other States, 
of such a piece of language run mad as the 
charter of the Catholepistemiad, must have been 
sorely annoying. That queer production was 
acted upon in his absence, though not against his 
wishes. He was prompt in aiding to endow the 
University ; but the two soldiers who negotiated 
the Treaty of Fort Meigs had some respect for 
good English, and named their beneficiary the 
College of Detroit. It would have tried the skill 
of some of the interpreters to turn that mixture 
of jargons into the dialects of the woods. 

In March, 1818, the people were called upon 
to perform another solemn duty. It had been a 
matter of much difficulty to identify or bury any 
of the victims of Winchester's unfortunate mas- 


sacre at the Raisin ; and, after all their efforts, 
the authorities were only able to determine the 
burial place of Captain Hart. His fate had been 
singularly sad, and no one had been more la- 
mented. He was not singular in his self-devo- 
tion, for in that all his companions were like him. 
But his admirable personal qualities, and his 
promise of eminence, as well as the peculiar 
circumstances of his death, made his name con- 
spicuous. Left behind at Frenchtown after the 
British went to Maiden, and not being sent for 
by a personal friend who had promised to send 
for him, and who was under obligations for kind 
care during his own sickness, he was finally slain 
while on the road to Maiden, by reason of a 
dispute between his guides. When it became 
practicable to perform the last honors to his mem- 
ory, a meeting was called, at which the Governor 
presided, and preparations were made for his re- 
interment at Detroit, with all due solemnity. A 
committee of the principal citizens made the 
necessary preparations, and on the 17th of March 
his funeral rites were celebrated, with all the 
tokens of respect and sorrow which were due to 
him, not only for his own sake, but as a repre- 
sentative of the noble dead whose lives had been 
spent for the people who now mourned him. 

The 27th day of August. 181 8, was a day long 
remembered in Detroit. On that day the first 
steamboat made its appearance on the Strait. The 
steamboat Walk-in-the-Water, (whether named 



from the Wyandot chief, or for her own qualities, 
is uncertain,) arrived on that - day from Buffalo, 
with a large load of passengers. She was built 
at Black Rock, and when completed was taken 
up to Buffalo against the strong current, not by 
her own motive power, which had not yet been 
tried, but by what Commodore Blake facetiously 
called the "horned breeze," several yokes c^ 
strong oxen towing her up safely/ 

The Indians had received early intelligence 
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. 

Henceforth the way was clear for the west- 
ward-bound pioneers. The land was put in mar- 
ket that season, and purchases were made of con- 
siderable amounts by actual settlers. The weekly 
trips of the steamboat brought up full loads of 
passengers, on some occasions as many as a hun- 
dred. The steamers were then considered large 
which to-day would appear too small for even 

» General Whiting, in d. jeti d^ esprit entitled "The Age of Steam," 
read at a F'ourth of July steamboat ride, in iS.^o, refers to this: 

" And where was e'er the modern wight. 
Who, though possessed of second sight. 
Twice eight years since could see a boat 
Within the shadowy future float? 
Or see one lying at Black Rock, 
(For Buffalo then had no dock,) 
Compelled to lay the Straits below. 
T'U 'horn-breeze' or a storm should blow." 


roueh river service, and would seem insignificant 
beside the smallest lake boats. The Erie canal 
was not yet built, and those who embarked at 
Buffalo had traversed a long road in wagons or 
on foot. Many, too, landed in Ohio, whence very 
few passengers then came across the lake to De- 
troit. The suddenness and magnitude of the first 
general movement towards Michigan was a sur- 
prising evidence of the restless energy of the 
American people. Very little foreign population 
came in those days across the lake. Most of the 
settlers were natives of New York or New Eng- 

It was during this year that Captain John Cleves 
Symmes propounded his theory of a pleasant and 
habitable reeion within the earth, accessible from 
a large opening near the Arctic Circle, and pro- 
posed to organize a party to explore and possess 
it. As he was once familiarly known in the North- 
west Territory and Detroit, this important incident 
should not be overlooked. For some reason 
" Symmes's Hole" did not divert emigration from 
the better known western country. 

The first permanent Protestant church in the 
Territory was organized at Detroit in 1818, and 
called the " First Protestant Society." Its member- 
ship was made up of persons belonging to several 
bodies of Christians, and it was not denominational 
in its form, so that ministers of various opinions 
officiated at different periods. Mr. Monteith was 
the first setded pastor. Before that time there 


had been occasional services of different churches, 
and the Society which finally became incorporated 
had been informally organized in 1816. Methodist 
clergy had visited Detroit earlier, and perhaps 
some others, but no sociedes had been formed. 
Episcopal services had been held by lay-reading, 
at which Dr. William McDowell Scott generally 
officiated as reader; and the Reverend Richard 
Pollard of Sandwich, very soon after the American 
possession, performed clerical dudes in bapdsms, 
marriages, and burials, among the members of the 
Episcopal Church, and others who desired his 
services. In 1822, the Methodist church became 
incorporated. In 1824, St. Paul's Episcopal Church 
was organized. Other churches followed, and the 
First Protestant Society became a Presbyterian 
church, and is sdll exisdng as such. 

In September, 18 18, the Wyandots exchanged 
their reserves at Brownstown and Monguagon for 
one further back on the Huron River, where they 
remained several years. In 1819, a treaty was 
held at Saginaw, whereby the country from near 
Kalamazoo to the head of Thunder Bay River 
was ceded to the United States, except a number 
of special reservadons, partly for individuals and 
partly for bands or villages. In June and July, 
1820, sixteen square miles were ceded at the Sault 
Ste Marie, as well as the St. Mardn Islands in 
Lake Huron, containing gypsum. In 182 1, a 
cession was obtained of all the land south ot 
Grand River and north of St. Joseph's River, and 


Other lands, whereby, except for a small tract south 
of the St. Joseph, and particular reserves, there 
remained no unceded land in the Lower Peninsula, 
except north of Grand River, and north and west 
of the head of Thunder Bay River. The necessities 
of the people were provided for, as far as would 
be required for a long time. 

The election of a delegate to Congress was, 
by the original ordinance, to follow the legislative 
organization, and not to precede it. But inasmuch 
as the population was large enough to warrant it, 
Congress, in the Spring of 1819, provided that 
the citizens of Michigan might elect a delegate, by 
a plurality vote of the free white male citizens 
over the age of 21, who had resided in the 
Territory one year and paid a county or Terri- 
torial tax. The first delegate chosen was William 
Woodbridge, Secretary of the Territory ; (who 
seems to have retained his Territorial office, but 
who soon resigned the other ;) and Solomon Sibley 
was chosen in his place in 1820. Judge Sibley 
held the office until 1823, when he was succeeded 
by the Reverend Gabriel Richard, Rector of St. 
Anne's Catholic Church. It is not often that a 
gentleman of his profession has appeared in 
Congress. He was a faithful and diligent repre- 
sentative, and performed his duties to the gene- 
ral satisfaction. This being the only elective 
office of the Territory, and there being no scope 
for the ordinary political struggles, there was 
generally a good deal of excitement and contro- 


versy, which was at first rather personal than po- 
Htical. But the candidates were all usually well 
qualified, and any of them would have done suffi- 
cient credit to his constituents. Father Richard's 
antagonist in 1823 was General John R. Williams. 
Austin E. Wing, Major John Biddle, Lucius Lyon, 
and George W. Jones, were at different periods 
incumbents of this office. In 1827, the Secretary 
of the Territory, Mr. Woodbridge, and Robert Ab- 
bott, Treasurer, in canvassing the Inspectors' re- 
turns, undertook to anticipate the prerogatives of 
Congress, and to discuss and determine upon the 
validity and regularity of the election, and of 
votes cast in various places, and gave Mr. Wing 
the certificate by the result of this process. The 
Legislative Council appointed a committee to in- 
vestigate the matter, who animadverted severely 
on the excess of jurisdiction, but questioned the 
power of the Council to deal adequately with, 
officers appointed by the United States. At this 
time there was a violent personal — rather than 
strictly party — feeling arising, which had been bit- 
ter during the election, and which was probably 
for a few years extreme in proportion to the 
small field open to its operation, and the absence 
of well-defined party issues. It was afterwards 
in other ways not without serious mischiefs, which 
cannot be discussed or understood now as 
fully as might, on some accounts, be desirable. 
There are still living many persons interested in 
the contest, and more or less affected by its pas- 
sions and prejudices. 


In 1819 the Bank of Michigan was organized, 
which, during its many years' existence, was a very 
important instrument in the financial affairs of 
the country. Its organization gave rise to a suit 
to determine what power the Territory had to 
charter private corporations ; but the courts never 
felt any serious difficulty in determining that ter- 
ritories have the same need of the instrumentali- 
ties of business as States, and have authority to 
avail themselves of, and secure to their people, 
all the means required to further the wants of 

In the summer of 181 9 the Walk-in-the-Water 
made the first steam voyage to Mackinaw, with a 
large load of passengers and freight, making the 
round trip from Buffalo and back in twelve days. 
Its cargo was reckoned worth ^200,000. At this 
time there were no post roads in the Territory — 
the first one having been established in 1820, to 
Pontiac and Mount Clemens. 

In 1820 Governor Cass organized an expedi- 
tion to explore the country through the upper 
lakes to the head of the Mississippi. This explora- 
tion had important results, and was of scientific 
as well as political value. The population, al- 
though increasing fast in the last two or three 
years, had only reached 8,765, and it was thought 
desirable to take all practicable measures to ob- 
tain and publish a knowledge of the country and 
its resources, to invite settlements. 


The expedition left Detroit on the 24th of May, 
1820. Its members were Governor Cass, Dr. 
Alexander Wolcott physician, Captain D. B. Doug- 
lass engineer, Lieutenant Aeneas Mackay command- 
ing the soldiers, James Duane Doty secretary to 
the expedition. Major Robert A. Forsyth Gover- 
nor's secretary, Henry R. Schoolcraft geologist 
and topographer, Charles C. Trowbridge assistant 
topographer, and Alexander R. Chace. 

They performed their journey in bark canoes, 
of the size and pattern used in the fur trade, 
where for more than a century the burden had 
been fixed at four tons, and the size a little over 
five fathoms and a half in length by one in 
breadth. These light craft were proved by expe- 
rience to be superior to all others for exploring 
purposes. At Mackinaw they divided the com- 
pany and the freight among four such canoes, and 
took besides a twelve-oared barge with an addi- 
tional escort, to the Sault, where the Indians were 
reported unfriendly. The British at this time had 
fortified Drummond's Island, which was then dis- 
puted territory, and had made it the centre of 
their dealings with the Indians, in the United 
States as well as in Canada. In 181 6, immedi- 
ately after the war, Thomas, the great Menominie 
chief, went through Mackinaw, on his way to ob- 
tain the usual presents from tlie British, and was 
somewhat surprised that Major Puthuff, the com- 
mandant, did not treat him with hospitality alter 
he told his errand. He returned to the island 



from the Ste. Marie's River very much mortified 
by the cold treatment of the British agents, who for 
a time, (though a very short one) curtailed or sus- 
pended their gifts. The proud spirit of the chief 
was so wounded by this that he shut himself up 
in his wigwam and drank himself to death. He 
was buried at Mackinaw with much respect, as -he 
was a very able and high-minded man, who is 
said to have had a majestic presence, and a mag- 
netic influence over all who met him. The prac- 
tice of making presents was soon renewed, and 
when Governor Cass's party reached the Sault, 
they found themselves among enemies. No 
American possession had been maintained since 
the war. 

The party arrived on the 14th of June, and 
found that the village on the American side then 
consisted of from 15 to 20 buildings, occupied by 
^VG or six French and English families, among 
whom was the family of John Johnston, before 
mentioned as having aided the English during 
the war. On the other side, the Northwest Com- 
pany had a factory, and had provided a system of 
boat lockao^e in the narrow channel near the Ca- 
nadian shore, to accommodate their large business. 
The savages were practically under their control. 
The American side was occupied by the F'rench 
very early, and, as previously mentioned, had been 
granted to Repentigny, whose fort was standing 
during the Pontiac war, but was long since aban- 


One object of this expedition was to establish 
a new fort ; and it was deemed advisable to hold 
a council with the Indians, to ascertain and ao-ree 
upon the bounds of the old concession. A coun- 
cil was held at the Governor's tent on the i6th. 
The Indians were surly, and not disposed to re- 
member that any concession had ever been made ; 
and some of the chiefs intimated that they might 
be disposed to allow civil setdements, but that a 
military post might be subjected to annoyance and 
plunder by their young men. The Governor an- 
swered this by an emphatic assurance that a fort 
would be placed there in any event, whether they 
agreed to it or not. The council, in which a 
chief dressed in the uniform of a Bridsh briga- 
dier-general was prominent, came to no agree- 
ment, and broke up in some disorder. This chief, 
called the " Count," during his speech, planted his 
war-lance in the ground, with furious gestures, 
and kicked away the presents laid before him. 
On leaving the council the Indians went to their 
own encampment, on an eminence where the old 
French fort had stood, 500 or 600 yards off, and 
hoisted the Bridsh flag in front of the Count's 
wigwam. Governor Cass, on discovering this, 
walked over, with no escort but his interpreter, 
and took down the flag and carried it away, in- 
forming the astounded chief that none but the 
American flag must be raised on our territory, 
and that if they should again presume to attempt 
such a thing the United States would put a strong 


foot on their necks and trample them out. This 
boldness struck them dumb for a while, but they 
soon sent off their women and children, and made 
preparations for an attack. The American force, 
numbering 66 well armed, got ready to meet 
them. The head chief, Shingobawassin, who had 
not been present at the council, interposed and 
brought the Indians to their senses, and that same 
day at evening a treaty was signed, releasing to 
the Americans a tract embracing sixteen square 
miles. Neither the Count nor Shingwauk, the 
two noisiest opponents, signed it. From this place 
they went by the usual coasting voyage along 
the south shore of Lake Superior, crossing Ke- 
weenaw Point through Portage Lake, and across 
the land portage, and visiting the great copper 
boulder on the Ontonagon River. They went up 
the St. Louis River to a portage near Savannah 
River, and down that stream, and through Sandy 
Lake, to the Mississippi, ascending that river 
through Lake Winnipeg to Upper Red Cedar or 
Cassina Lake. On their return they descended 
the Mississippi to the Dubuque mines, and then 
went up to Green Bay by the Wisconsin and Fox 
Rivers, and there separated. A portion of the 
company went to Mackinaw, and thence directly 
homeward, the remainder proceeding to Chicago, 
whence General Cass returned overland to De- 
troit, the rest coasting alono^ the eastern shore of 
Lake Michigan. The knowledge of the north- 
west derived from this careful exploration was of 
great value. 

Chap. XIII.] STATUTES. 405 

It Is a very singular fact that between 1806 
and 1820 no provision had been made for pubHsh- 
ing the Territorial Laws, and some of them had 
been lost and were never found again. In 181 6, 
a meagre volume was printed In Detroit, In type 
hardly legible, containing the titles of some laws, 
and abstracts or Indexes of others, and a very few 
In full. This publication was thus condensed for 
want of means. In i8!^o, Congress appropriated 
twelve hundred and fifty dollars for the publication 
of existing laws, and the Legislative Board com- 
piled and revised their legislation so as to put It 
In a very good form, and supply the place of a 
code. Some changes were made at this time, but 
none requiring special notice. The compilation 
was not perfect, however, and omitted some Im- 
portant statutes. 

It was not creditable to the Territory that 
public whipping was allowed to be Inflicted on 
Indians and negroes convicted of various offences, 
and, by the order of a single justice, on disorderly 
persons, and those convicted of small offences. 
The whipping post disgraced the Detroit market 
house until 1831, when this relic of barbarism 
was forever removed. The not less barbarous 
custom of selling the poor to the lowest bidder, 
was also long kept up, with the disgusting spec- 
tacle of the ball-and-chaln-gang. The legislators 
were, perhaps, not behind their time altogether, 
but such exhibitions were not Improving. 

Duelling, challenging, and posting, were made 
punishable in 181 5 for the first time. The law 


was borrowed from New Jersey, which had once 
been a great duelHng ground. 

In 1822, die United States aboHshed its system 
of government trading houses. Its abolition re- 
moved many frauds and opportunities of pecula- 
tion, and enabled the American fur-traders to 
compete with the British ; and from that period 

the British influence over the Indians was sensibly 


checked. But the Indians were nevertheless kept 
as far as possible under their control, and they 
still retained a foothold on our territory. The 
commissioners under the Treaty of Ghent had 
determined, in 1822, that Drummond's Island, at 
the mouth of St. Mary's River, belonged to the 
United States ; yet the British post was complained 
of in 1826, as still remaining, and the American 
Indians, to the number of 4,000, received presents 
and annuities there during that year for their 
services to Great Britain ; while at Maiden, then 
and for many years thereafter, the same practice 
prevailed. The evils of submitting to such a system 
of subsidies are too manifest to need pointing out. 
The government was much to blame for allowing 
it. There are many persons now living who have 
seen the fleets of the great northern canoes 
lining our shore, and congregated savages, far 
more numerous than the white inhabitants, receiv- 
ing guns, knives and hatchets, as well as other 
gifts, from the Maiden agency, and indulging after 
their reception in a drunken frolic in our streets. 
It is not to be denied, however, that they left be- 


hind them in Detroit a fair share of their pres- 

In 1 82 1, among the new laws contained in the 
volume published by the Board, was a statute re- 
pealing the former University Act, and entrusting 
the University and its affairs to twenty-one trus- 
tees, the Governor being one ex-officio. Their 
powers were not materially altered, but the Ter- 
ritorial support was withdrawn. The schools were 
still kept up, and a large lot was soon thereafter 
conveyed to the institution, embracing a consider- 
able parcel adjoining that already built upon. 
This corporation continued as organized in 1821, 
until re-organized under the State Constitution. 

In 1822 six new counties were established, — 
Lapeer, Sanilac, Saginaw, Shiawassee, Washtenaw 
and Lenawee. They were not set apart as com- 
pletely organized counties for some years. Thence- 
forward occasional changes and additions were 
made, the largest number of counties at one time 
for many years having been created in 1829, 
when counties were named after the President 
Vice-President and Cabinet, and General Cass, 
who was not long after made a member of it. 
As the country opened, it became necessary to 
divide it up very much in advance of dense set- 

The situation of Mackinaw and the counties west 
of Lake Michigan was such that the judicial sys- 
tem was found to work very badly. They had 
the county courts, presided over by lay judges, 


but an appeal lay from these to the Supreme 
Court, where a new trial was had by a jury as in 
the lower court. The %ipreme Court had exclu- 
sive jurisdiction of large cases, of real actions, of 
admiralty and other United States business, and 
of capital crimes ; and concurrent jurisdiction with 
the county courts of other offences. But one 
term of four weeks was held each year, in Detroit, 
on the third Monday of September. At that time 
navigation northward was in those days closed, 
and even if open the hardship of bringing par- 
ties and witnesses so far was excessive. James 
Duane Doty, who had removed to Green Bay, 
prepared and laid before Congress a full state- 
ment of these grievances. It appears from his 
showing, that the litigants were mostly private 
traders, who were compelled to go to the Indian 
country in winter to sell their goods to the Indi- 
ans, and buy furs, and that the Indian debtors had 
a curious rule of considering their debts paid by 
a tender of the proper amount of furs at the 
trader's residence. If he was absent or not ready 
to receive them, he was reasonably certain to lose 
his demand. The only months in which it was 
safe for a trader to resort to the settlements were 
May and the summer months. He also made 
some remarkable showings concerning the amount 
of business in that country. He asserts that no 
territory (unless possibly Orleans) had yielded so 
lartre a revenue to the United States from duties 
on imports. That in 1807, the duties at Macki- 


naw exceeded $40,000, although afterwards less, — 
the decrease arising from some of the importa- 
tions comine into New York, which before were 
made directly through Canada. In November, 
1 82 1, 3,000 packs of furs had been exported from 
Mackinaw. It appears from other sources that 
the sale of foreign goods, (chiefly to the Indians) 
amounted in the Territory at cost to about a 
million of dollars annually. 

Congress, in accordance with the wishes of 
the people, enacted, in January, 1823, that there 
should be a separate judge appointed to hold a 
district court in that region, having all the ordi- 
nary jurisdiction of the Supreme and county 
courts, subject to the appellate jurisdiction of the 
Supreme Court on writ of error, but not other- 
wise. It was to have full criminal powers, and 
jurisdiction over all offences and transactions con- 
nected with the commerce or dealings with the 
Indians. Mr. Doty was made judge of the new 

The same session of Congress adopted a fur- 
ther law, on the 3rd of March, 1823, completely 
revolutionizing the Territorial government. The 
legislative power was transferred to the Gover- 
nor and Council, composed of nine persons se- 
lected by the President and confirmed by the 
Senate, out of eighteen elected by the people of 
the Territory. Sessions were not to exceed sixty 
days, and laws were subject to Congressional ab- 
rogation. The judges were to have equity as 

410 CAPITOL. [Chap. XIII. 

well as common law powers, and their term of 
office was reduced to four years, instead of during 
o-ood behavior. The existing^ offices were to be- 
come vacant on the ist of February, 1824. The 
pardoning power was vested in the Governor for 
all offences against the Territory, with pow^er of 
reprieving in United States cases. 

On the 22nd of October, 1823, the corner stone 
was laid of a building intended for a court house, 
and used until 1847 as the Territorial and State 
Capitol. It was a fine building for that period, 
and very well built. The original design had 
been to build it in the Grand Circus, the central 
space of Judge Woodward's Cobweb, and now 
the finest public ground in Detroit. That spot 
was then remote and inaccessible, being regarded 
as far out in the country, and in the woods. The 
new location was also complained of as too re- 
mote, and accusations of all sorts of interference 
and corrupting influences were made against the 
land owners in the vicinity, who had secured the 
capitol so near them, when it was a long and te- 
dious journey to reach it. For many years it 
stood alone in the wilderness, reached only by a 
narrow line of single timbers for a walk, and too 
far off for any one to resort to it except under 
dire necessity. It is now far below the central 
part of Detroit, and in the very heart of the 
heaviest business. 

In the midst of the tumult naturally caused by 
the great political revolution, an amusing excite- 


ment arose concerning a mysterious manuscript 
which was found in Detroit, in some out of the 
way place. The characters were fairly traced and 
distinct, but the scholars were all perplexed. It 
resembled no letters which any of them had ever 
seen. Aid was sought in various quarters in vain. 
At last, however, it was discovered that the hiero- 
glyphics were Irish. 

The change in the Territorial scheme was 
peculiar. The Ordinance of 1787 had provided 
for a council, but only as an upper house or 
senate, and the functions of the Michigan Council 
were both legislative and executive. Under that 
instrument the judges were always to hold during 
o-ood behavior. It is evident that one object of 
the change was to get rid of some of the judges. 
When the appointments were made. Judge With- 
erell was re-appointed, it is said that Judge Griffin 
declined a nomination, and Judge Woodward was 
left out altogether. Judge Witherell was made 
presiding judge, and Solomon Sibley and John 
Hunt associate justices. Both of these gendemen 
were members of the Detroit Bar. Judge Hunt 
died in 1827, and the vacancy was filled by the 
appointment of Henry Chipman, who, although a 
native of Vermont, had practised several years in 
South Carolina, and had recently removed to 
Detroit. He was a lifelong intimate friend and 
admirer of James L. Petigru of South Carolina, 
whose fearless patriotism under the most trying 
circumstances has made his memory honorable. 


fudge Chipman died but a few years since, leav- 
ing a good name and spodess reputation. Judge 
Woodward was, soon after the accession of Mr. 
Adams, appointed one of the Judges of Florida. 

The Council was organized in June, 1824, by 
appointing Abraham Edwards President, and John 
P. Sheldon Clerk. Its first business being to pro- 
vide for obtaining the funds for its own payment, 
and for punishing all offences against its dignity, 
it then proceeded to enact a number of statutes, 
mostly of no present interest. The Supreme 
Court was required to hold sessions in several 
places instead of one. Punishment by whipping 
was only to be ordered by two justices, but allowed 
for additional offences. Provision was made for 
an annual thanksgiving. The name of the Huron 
River of Lake St. Clair was changed to Clinton 
River, to avoid confusion, as there was a Huron 
River of Lake Erie in the southern part of Wayne 
County. Most of the laws were the usual routine 
legislation, carefully drawn and appropriate. 

The year 1825 was one of much interest. 
The Erie Canal made the journey to the west 
easy and economical, and the country began to 
settle very fast. Three steamers, the Superior, 
the Henry Clay, and the Pioneer, were running 
on Lake Erie before the season was over, and it 
was estimated that they landed at Detroit 300 
passengers a week during the latter part of the 
season. A second paper — the Michigan Herald — 
was started in Detroit by Chipman & vSeymour, 

Chap. XIII.] PROGRESS. 413 

and a paper was also printed in Monroe. Six 
hundred people attended a Fourth of July meeting 
at Pontiac, and Washtenaw County contained three 
thousand inhabitants. Tecumseh was located and 
named this year. On the 25th of February, Con- 
gress adopted further legislation to popularize the 
affairs of the Territory. The Governor and 
Council were authorized to divide the Territory 
into townships and incorporate them, and to 
provide for the election of township officers. All 
county officers were to be elected, except judges, 
sheriffs, clerks, judges of probate and justices ot 
the peace. These were excepted because their 
functions were in no sense representative, but 
belonged to the administration of justice, which 
was of public and not of local concern. Governor 
Cass, in his desire to consult the popular wishes, 
overlooked this principle, and practically annulled 
the proviso in the act of Congress which forbade 
their election, by informing the people of the 
townships and counties that he would appoint any 
one whom they elected. There is now much 
difference of opinion concerning the propriety of 
electing the officers of justice, but at that time 
there was none, and Congress would not have 
sanctioned it. 

The number of councillors was increased to 
thirteen, and an appeal was granted from the Ter- 
ritorial Court to the Supreme Court of the 
United States. 

In 1825, Captain John Burtis introduced upon 
the river at Detroit a large horse-boat, for ferri- 


age to Sandwich, (now Windsor), which excited 
as much curiosity as the first steamer. This en- 
terprising gentleman a few years later was also 
the first to introduce a steam ferry-boat, named 
the Argo, long famous in that region. It was 
composed of a gigantic dug-out, decked over, and 
propelled by an engine of moderate power, and 
monopolized the business several years. 

About this time rumors were circulated that 
several of the captives taken at Frenchtown were 
still among the Indians. Governor Cass examined 
carefully into the facts, and published a letter stat- 
ing that there was no reason to believe this, as 
the captives were all grown up and old enough 
when taken to know their origin, and would have 
been discovered long before if living. He said 
there were no captives left in the woods, who 
were not voluntary associates of the Indians, and 
that he knew of but two white men in that con- 
dition — Tanner, ' and George Johnston, both of 
whom preferred it. 

In 1826, General Cass and Colonel McKenney 
made a tour to the head of Lake Superior in 
canoes, to make treaties with the northern Indi- 
ans, and to secure access to the Lake Superior 

I This Tanner was a somewhat dangerous character, who lived in the 
Lake Superior country, near the Sault. In 1830, it was found necessary 
to pass a special act to protect his daughter, Martha Tanner, from her 
father, which made it a misdemeanor for him to use any but legal means 
to get her into his control, against her will. This is probably the only 
law ever passed which attached criminal consequences to injuries to a 
single private person. Tanner was suspected of the subsequent murder of 
James L. Schoolcraft, and disappeared at that time from the Sault. 


mines. Colonel McKenney published a very en- 
tertaining narrative of his expedition. On the 5th 
of August they signed a treaty at Fond du Lac, 
whereby the United States were allowed to search 
for and remove metals or minerals, but not to gain 
title to the lands. Annuities were given to the 
Chippewas for support and education. They came 
back from Fond du Lac to Detroit by canoe in 
twenty-two days — making over fifty miles a day — 
a very remarkable journey. 

An additional grant was made to the Univer- 
sity of a township of land, on the 20th of May, 
1826, and the two townships were allowed to be 
selected in parcels, instead of in whole township 
tracts. Several roads were also projected by 
Congress in this and subsequent years, mostly 
running from the eastern border of the Territory 
into the interior. The principal government roads 
ran between Detroit and Maumee, Fort Gratiot, 
Saginaw, Grand River and towards Chicago. These 
not only opened the country but drew in many 
laborers and contractors, who became valuable 
citizens. The completion of the first locomotive 
in America at Hoboken, by Mr. Stevens, is an 
event of this period concerning Michigan as well 
as the rest of the country. 

The fort at Detroit was left without troops, 
and in the next year (1827) was discontinued as 
a fortified post. Some apprehensions were felt 
about the Indians, but they were groundless. No 
disturbance occurred afterwards which the local 


authorities could not put down. The militia were 
still kept in tolerable training, and had officers 
who had seen service. There were also some 
well drilled bodies of uniformed volunteers. After 
the policy was definitely adopted of discontinuing 
the military occupation, the large military reserve 
was relinquished to the City of Detroit, and laid 
out into city lots, on a rectangular plan, and not 
accordinor to Woodward's scheme. 

The principal local excitement was the arrest 
and imprisonment, in 1826, of Kishkaukon, the 
turbulent Saginaw chief, who aided and abetted 
Big Beaver in the murder of another chief, Wa- 
wasson, at Detroit. Kishkaukon was furnished 
with poison by one of his wives, and thus evaded 

This year seven steamers ran between Buffalo 
and Detroit. The exports of whitefish began to 
be large, as well as of cider and apples. It is 
also noted that in the winter oysters were brought 
to Detroit, '' in good condition," and oyster cel- 
lars became among the institutions of the city. 

In 1827, Congress allowed the people to choose 
thirteen Councilmen for themselves, instead of re- 
porting twenty-six to the President and Senate 
for selection. The Council abolished the county 
commissioner system for a board ot supervisors, 
and required every township to support schools, 
either English, or English and classical, according 
to population. This severed the schools from the 
University control. A revision of the statutes 



was also adopted, which very wisely abolished all 
laws not contained in it. This became necessary 
from the number of unpublished laws that were not 
to be discovered among the records, but had been 
lost. A new law to prevent kidnapping was con- 
nected with a discreditable provision requiring all 
persons of color to find sureties for their good 
behavior. This statute was not enforced, but re- 
mained a dead letter until, several years after, a 
riot arose and an attempt was made to destroy 
the jail, on account of the arrest of a fugitive 
slave. In the excitement this law was called into 
requisition, and for a time most of the few col- 
ored people of Detroit remained in Canada. But 
public sentiment would not tolerate it, and it was 
at once repealed. 

This year the first export of flour took place. 
Miller & Jermain of Monroe shipped 200 barrels 
to the east. Tobacco was also raised largely, 
and the next year 100 hogsheads of Michigan 
tobacco arrived at Baltimore, other parcels having 
been sold elsewhere. In 1828, Judge Witherell 
was made Secretary of the Territory, and William 
Woodbridge was appointed to the Supreme Court 
with Judges Sibley and Chipman. During this 
year much feeling arose out of a contempt case 
against John P. Sheldon, for publications in the 
Detroit Gazette, which were claimed to be unau- 
thorized comments on some action ot Judge 
Woodbridge in the Supreme Court. In some of 
the articles it was intimated that the paper had 


driven away one court and might do the same to 
another. Judges Woodbridge and Chipman, on a 
hearing before them, held him guilty and fined 
him. A popular assembly passed strong resolu- 
tions against the proceeding,^ and the fine was 
paid by subscription. The controversy involves 
the feelings of too many living persons to be 
fully discussed here. It became very widely known, 
and was the subject of much comment by the 
press in various parts of the country. 

In 1830, the first railroad was chartered. The 
*' Pontiac and Detroit Railway Company " was 
incorporated, with power to use a part of the 
line of the turnpike. The project failed, and the 
law was very crude and imperfect. In 1832, the 
Detroit and St. Joseph Railroad was chartered, 
which afterwards became the Michigan Central — 
the State having bought out the company. This 
was the first charter that was afterwards acted on. 

In 1830, the country was greatly excited over 
the French Revolution of July. The recent visit 
of La Fayette had rekindled the old American 
interest in France, and the news of that move- 
ment, in which he took so great a part, was re- 
ceived with rejoicing. A public meeting was held 
in Detroit, in which all the citizens participated, 
decked with the tri-color, and addresses were made 
with enthusiasm. 

Mr. De Tocqueville arrived in Detroit early in 
the summer, and the news of the Revolution 


reached him in the woods between Detroit and 

The Territory now began to feel the effect of 
general politics which had never before seriously 
interfered. Major Rowland was removed from 
the office of marshal, John L. Leib being placed 
in his room. General John T. Mason, a non-resi- 
dent, was appointed Secretary of the Territory, 
which made him acting Governor in the Gover- 
nor's absence, although he had obtained no per- 
sonal knowledge of the country. It is well known 
that at this time there were very loose party ties, 
as the people were in an unsettled state, and re- 
mained so until the separation into Whigs and 
Democrats shordy after. But removals from office 
became very frequent. 

The v/ant of harmony in General Jackson's 
Cabinet, which did not arise from political so 
much as from personal difficulties, led to its 
dissolution, in April, 1831. The office of Secre- 
tary of War, having first been offered to Hugh 
L. White of Tennessee, was given to General 
Cass, who accepted it, and left Detroit in the 

He was much respected by men of all parties 
in Michigan. He had held his office six terms, 
under Madison, Monroe, Adams and Jackson, and 
had acted throughout with spirit and dignity. His 
administration was eminendy popular, and he de- 
sired and endeavored to secure to the people, as 
soon as possible, all the privileges of self-govern- 


ment. If he erred in this respect, it was an error 
in the direction of the largest popular authority. 
His views were broad and sagacious, and he was 
very free from personal bitterness and malignity. 
The inevitable asperities of politics exposed him 
in later years to the attacks made on all public 
men, and his course in national affairs has been 
severely assailed and warmly defended. But no 
one now has any doubts about his sincere and 
unqualified patriotism. He was a brave defender 
and a true lover of his country. 

The social condition of the Territory was re- 
markably pleasant during his residence as Gover- 
nor. The persons who came westward in those 
days were principally Americans of enterprise 
and intelligence. The schools and all other means 
of improvement were carefully fostered, and it is 
not often that a more cultivated or genial society 
is found anywhere. 

One pleasant feature of life in such commu- 
nities as the early border towns of the west, was 
the cordiality and freedom from stiffness which 
produced as near an approach to republican sim- 
plicity and equality as is ever found anywhere. 
With no lack of comfort and elegance, there was 
an entire absence of ostentation. Strangers were 
often surprised and amused at one custom which 
the inhabitants found both pleasant and profitable. 
Sidewalks and paved streets were alike unknown, 
and the condition of the city ways was for seve- 
ral months in the year only equalled by the 

Chap. XIII.] CARTS. 421 

country roads described by Macaulay, when the 
coach and four was used from necessity and not 
from pride. In winter, the streets and rivers were 
merry with carioles and sleighs. But at all sea- 
sons, the favorite family vehicle for safe carriage 
to church or party, was a common one-horse cart, 
used as well for the most homely purposes as to 
supply the place of a coach. The rude box, 
cushioned with hay and buffalo robes, and crowded 
with as many laughing inmates as could find room 
on its spacious floor, was absolutely safe from up- 
setting, and the absence of springs was usually 
compensated by a yielding bed ot mud, so that 
jolting was not felt. This strong two-wheeled 
vehicle was backed up to the place of entry or 
destination ; and on all occasions of public wor- 
ship, or other concourse, a row of carts would be 
found awaiting the hour of dismissal. The only 
chance of accident was from the loosenino- of 
the staple which held down the box in front, and 
was meant to be unbolted when a load other 
than human was to be tipped out at the back. 
It occasionally happened that a mischievous urchin 
would produce this catastrophe to a cart-full of 
people, but never with tragical results. Carts 
were not wholly superseded by carriages in De- 
troit until within a quarter of a century. 

The long winters, during which they were shut 
in by themselves, compelled them to draw on 
their own resources. Literary and scientific' soci- 
eties and reunions were established very early. 


and all who had anything to contribute to the 
general enjoyment gave it cheerfully. A lyceum 
was organized in the early days of the Territory, 
in which papers were read by men of thorough 
scholarship and research. Many important contri- 
butions to history were thus secured. At one 
time or another most of the prominent army offi- 
cers have been stationed at Detroit, and always 
did their share. Among other things they organ- 
ized a Thespian Corps of much dramatic excel- 
lence, in which the now venerable and not Lilli- 
putian General James Watson Webb performed 
as a graceful brunette. Major (afterwards Gene- 
ral) Henry Whiting, an elegant writer, (author of 
Ontwa and Sanilac, and minor poems, not now in 
print, and editor of an important series of Wash- 
ington papers,) read various essays before the 
lyceum and elsewhere. Major John Biddle, Ma- 
jor Thomas Rowland, Henry R. Schoolcraft and 
General Cass, were also valued and ready con- 
tributors. Major Rowland is said to have written 
the Joel Downing papers, a series of humorous 
political satires, after the style of Major Jack 
Downing's letters. Mr. Charles C. Trowbridge 
rendered permanent service to history by securing 
narratives from eye-witnesses of the Pontiac war, 
as well as other matters of interest. These gen- 
tlemen, with others of like tastes, organized the 
State Historical Society ; and the published 
sketches of General Cass, Major Whiting, Major 
Biddle and Mr. Schoolcraft remain the best sy- 


nopsis of our history that has ever yet been pre- 
pared. Doctor Douglass Houghton was first made 
known to Michigan by having been secured by a 
number of Detroit citizens, in 1829, to deHver a 
winter course of lectures on chemistry. He was 
obliged to remain through the whole season for 
that purpose, and, although then but twenty years 
of age, made so favorable an impression, and was 
so favorably impressed, that he was placed upon 
the second commission to seek the sources of 
the Mississippi, and after his return became a per- 
manent resident of Detroit. It is worthy of re- 
mark that when General Cass made his first visit 
to Detroit on his return from his mission to the 
Court of Louis Philippe, Doctor Houghton, as 
Mayor of Detroit, delivered the address of wel- 
come ; and when, in the fall of 1845, the melan- 
choly news was received of the death of that 
eminent devotee of science, the meeting which 
was called to express the sense of public bereave- 
ment was ad'dressed by General Cass, as principal 
speaker, and his remarks were a feeling and elo- 
quent tribute to one whom he had loved and ad- 
mired ever since he had known him. 

The Governor did not lose his concern in the 
affairs of the Territory. He continued to use his 
influence to further its prosperity; and while he 
remained in the United States, he was useful in 
many ways to the public interests of Michigan. 

But the end of her pupilage was approaching. 
And, in order that the sense of independence 


might not come too early, her destinies were for a 
time entrusted to the care of strangers, most of 
whom became, however, in due time, very loyal 
citizens of their new realm. 



The Territory now had a population of more 
than thirty thousand, and its people were increas- 
ing very fast. Every boat from the east brought 
in large loads of immigrants, most of whom re- 
mained in Michigan. The movement to the country 
west of Lake Michigan came a little later, and 
Chicago was not yet laid out as a town, although 
it was a post of some consequence. 

The laws, although reasonably stable for so 
young a commonwealth, had been subject to some 
fluctuations since the formation of the Council. 
These changes related mostly to the method of 
conducting local business and to courts. The 
system of county courts by degrees gave way to 
the circuit system, which in one form or another 
has since prevailed. The county system was 
altered. Beginning with the county court, which 
for administrative purposes answered to the quarter 
sessions, it changed first to the county commis- 
sioner plan, borrowed from Massachusetts, and 
then to the board of supervisors, derived from 


New York. After the State came into existence 
there were further changes. 

The settlement of most of the more important 
townships and villages was very fortunate. In a 
great many instances neighborhoods were settled 
by small colonies from the Eastern States and 
New York, who came in sufficient numbers to give 
harmonious character to their new homes, and 
maintain wholesome and agreeable social sur- 
roundings. The transition from an old to a new 
country became less trying, and the newly broken 
wilderness was brightened by familiar associations. 
The effect of these united movements is still vis- 
ible, and there are many old towns and townships 
that keep the peculiar characteristics which marked 
them forty and fifty years ago. There are not 
many parts of the United States where, with a 
full measure of enterprise, there are such plain 
evidences of their American antecedents. The 
growth of these colonies has drawn largely from the 
places whence they emigrated. Those coming west 
are always glad to find old friends and neighbors, or 
their kindred, and naturally prefer to cast their 
lot among them to settling among entire strangers. 
When the immigration from Europe began to 
reach large proportions, a great part of it passed 
further on ; and the growth of Michigan was 
chiefly made up of such as chose a country re- 
sembling the wooded lands to which they were 
accustomed, with a society where they would feel 
at home, to the prairies which were so inviting to 


many Europeans, and a class of inhabitants with 
whom it would take them some years to become 
familiar. The increase of population was rapid 
enough to indicate life and prosperity. It has 
usually been gradual enough to enable those who 
came in from any quarter to setde down into the 
common ways, instead of forming separate clannish 
communities, of alien manners and sympathies. 

It was evident to all that the time could not 
be far distant when Michigan must become a 
State. As this time drew near, it was natural 
that the people of the Territory should begin to 
look upon the management of pubHc affairs as 
fairly belonging to them ; and to prepare as far as 
possible to make the change of rule free from 
disturbance or abruptness. The southern boundary 
had been tampered with, and there were difficul- 
ties in prospect from that source. The increase 
of removals from office made them daily conscious 
that as yet their wishes were to have no weight 
in the guidance of their most important affairs. 
The people who had joined their fortunes to the 
Territory were entirely passed by in the chief 
executive appointments, and almost entirely in 
some others. In some instances the appointments, 
and the removals which they followed, were oc- 
casions of much bitterness. 

When General Cass was nominated as Secre- 
tary of War, he was — though not by his own 
procurement, — announced as Lewis Cass of Ohio. 
This was criticised by the press, and defended on 


the ground that a Territorial officer was Hke a 
military officer, merely detailed on service which 
did not orain him a residence. As the Ordinance 
of 1787 expressly required the Governor, Judges 
and Secretary, to reside in the Territory, and to 
be freeholders there, and as General Cass had in 
good faith made Michigan his home and the centre 
of all his interests, this theory was not quite 
satisfactory, and was not made any more so by 
the practical application which regarded the people 
as subjects rather than citizens, and supplied them 
with a foreiorn orovernment. These abuses have 

o o 

now become apparently the normal conditions of 
Territorial existence. They had not then been so 
universally recognized, as not to be regarded as 
unpleasant reminders of praetorian authority. 
The personal worth of such officers may prevent 
misgovernment, but the system is in violation of 
free principles ; and however proper it may be 
while there is no considerable population, and no 
choice of fit persons for office, it is not adapted 
to communities which are populous, and as well 
informed on their own affairs, and as capable of 
furnishing competent officers, as any of the States. 

General Cass having resigned his Territorial 
office. General [ohn T. Mason became acting 
Governor. But his interests or duties called him 
elsewhere, and, for reasons that seem to have been 
confidential, he found it important to make a jour- 
ney to Mexico, probably on a secret mission of 
some kind, where he was more or less concerned 



in the events which led to the separation of Texas. 
He was permitted to resign the Secretaryship in 
favor of his son, Stevens Thomson Mason, ap- 
pointed as from Kentucky. This gentleman re- 
ceived his commission during a recess of the 
Senate, and was sworn in on the 25th of July, 

The office of Governor was not at once filled, 
probably from reluctance on the part of some 
persons to accept an office which was likely to 
be of short duration. Major John H. Eaton, the 
recently retired Secretary of War, was commonly 
supposed likely to receive the appointment. He 
was soon made Governor of Florida, instead. In 
August, the name of George B. Porter, of Lan- 
caster, Pennsylvania, was sent to the Senate, and 
the nomination confirmed. Governor Porter was 
a lawyer of ability, and had but a few months 
before been made United States Marshal of 
Eastern Pennsylvania. He at once removed to 
Detroit with his family, and adopted Michigan as 
his future home. 

News of the probable appointment of Mr. 
Mason as Secretary was received in Detroit on 
the 23rd of July. As he had not yet reached 
his majority, and was only slightly known to the 
citizens as a pleasant and promising youth, his 
selection to perform the chief executive functions 
of the Territory was not received with favor. A 
meeting of citizens was held, presided over by 
Colonel David C. McKinstry, an active friend of 



the administration ; and a committee was ap- 
pointed to ascertain the facts, which was composed 
of Messrs. McKinstry, Andrew Mack, Shubael Co- 
nant, Oliver Newberry and John E. Schwarz. The 
meeting having been held on Saturday night, they 
waited on Mr. Mason (who had just returned from 
Washington) on Monday, and learned from him 
that he had that day received his commission and 
qualified, — that his age was as had been repre- 
sented, and that the President had appointed him 
with full knowledge of the circumstances. They 
reported accordingly to an adjourned meeting on 
Monday evening, and a further committee was 
appointed, (consisting of Eurotas P. Hastings, 
Henry S. Cole, D. C. McKinstry, Oliver Newberry 
and Alexander D. Eraser) to prepare resolutions 
and a memorial to the President for his removal, 
to be signed by the meeting and circulated in 
the Territory. The resolutions were confined to 
the illegality and impropriety of appointing a mi- 
nor to such a position, which was declared to be 
"a violation of the principles of our fundamental 
law, and of the genius and spirit of the constitu- 
tion ; and in the highest degree derogatory to the 
freemen over whom he is thus attempted to be 
placed ;" and declared that " we hold it to be our 
duty to take prompt measures with a view to his 
removal from that office." 

The proceedings of this meeting, and the 
memorial, produced much comment in the leading 
journals of the country ; and the propriety of the 


appointment was not maintained, but it was 
claimed by the Globe — (then the official organ) — 
that having been appointed, he should not be re- 
moved except for actual misconduct. As many 
removals had been recently made without cause 
of that kind, the argument was not conclusive, and 
It did not touch the point of minority. He was 
not removed, but, toward the end of the next 
session of the Senate, he was nominated and con- 
firmed. In July or August, 1832, when he had 
barely reached his majority. 

The appointment and arrival of Governor 
Porter rendered the position less anomalous, and 
the frank and gendemanly reply of Mr. Mason to 
the action of the meeting did much to disarm 
criticism, and awaken kind feeling. His conduct 
had never been arrogant, and while he had his 
share of the youthful qualities which, though not 
discreditable, are nevertheless not entirely suited 
to great public responsibilities, he was manly and 
generous, and very well adapted to obtain sym- 
pathy. He Intimated in his reply that a young 
man would be more ready to accept the guidance 
of his elders than one of riper age. It was not 
very long before he had mentors enough ; and 
among his most devoted adherents were some of 
his early critics. His public career, when the 
burdens of state again fell upon him, was for a 
considerable time very popular, and he never lost 
his personal popularity. He died young, and he 
is remembered very kindly. 


It often happens that when party issues are 
obscure, and personal questions prevail, there is 
much less restraint in controversy than when men 
are occupied with serious political problems. While 
Mr. Mason paid proper respect to his more ex- 
perienced advisers, his companions of the same 
age naturally gathered about him, and became 
demonstrative. There were many things which 
were more or less exciting to older politicians, and 
there has never been a time in Michigan when 
there were so many personal quarrels and rencoun- 
ters on political and semi-political grounds. The 
use of weapons in private disputes has never 
been approved in this community, but for a year 
or two there were affrays altogether too frequent, 
in which more or less blood was shed in a small 
way, but, fortunately or unfortunately, with no fa- 
tal results. Such ebullitions do not last long. 
People very soon discover that men may differ 
from them without being totally depraved, and 
learn to live in charity, or at least in tolerance. 
And while the disputes on national questions were 
very bitter for several years, the interests of the 
Territory were more pressing, and upon these 
there was something approaching unanimity. 

Governor Porter is not known to have incurred 
any political or personal enmity. He was an able 
man of good feeling and popular manners, with a 
considerable knowledge of agricultural as well as 
public affairs. He took that interest in the Ter- 
ritory which might be expected of one who in- 


tended to remain in it. He was, among other 
things, very active in encouraging the improvement 
of stock, and some of the best animals in the 
State are descended from those he introduced. 
He did not remain in office long enough to ac- 
complish very much, but his administration was 
judicious, and creditable, and his death was sin- 
cerely regretted as a public loss. 

The year 1831 passed without much that* is 
deserving of record, beyond the removals and ap- 
pointments, which operated here as they did else- 
where, and are of no present importance. In the 
spring of the year, a resolution was passed by 
the Council, authorizing the Governor to negotiate 
with Ohio to adjust the boundary line on the basis 
oi a cession of all east of the Maumee, for an 
equivalent westward. Nothing seems to have 
come of this proposition. It had not yet been 
supposed there was any grave doubt about the 
rights of Michigan in the lands afterwards dis- 
puted. Roads were laid out and other improve- 
ments contemplated, and the future storm was not 

The county seats of Hillsdale, Kalamazoo, Sag- 
inaw, Lapeer and Jackson were located this year. 
That of the latter count\ was first named with 
the imposing title of Jacksonopolis. A year or two 
after it was Anglicised into facksonburgh. Its 
next metamorphosis was into its present shape of 
Jackson, where it will probably remain. The early 
statute books contain many ambitious names which 


have one by one disappeared, until the State is 
reasonably free- from the ridiculous titles that once 
adorned its paper cities, whose ambitious clapboard 
palaces, erected in an unbroken wilderness, were 
never inhabited, and have ceased to surprise the 
straggling explorer of their deserted avenues. 

On the loth day of May, 1831, John Trum- 
bull died at Detroit at the advanced age of 82. 
He had not lived in the Territory more than six 
or seven years — having come out to pass the re- 
mainder of his days with his daughter, the wife 
of Judge William Woodbridge. Judge Trumbull 
was. a prominent and honored citizen during the 
American Revolution, as well as afterwards, and 
his poem of McFingaL was one of those well- 
timed and well-written satires which sometimes 
perform an important part in public emergencies. 
It was a very felicitous sketch, which became in- 
stantly popular, and produced as marked an effect 
in the United States as Hudibras did in England. 
It is one of those productions which are valuable, 
not only for their keen satire and amusing hits, 
but for their preservation of past manners and 
ways, which are seldom depicted by grave writers, 
yet are necessary to the comprehension of both 
law and history. American literature is not rich 
in those unstudied productions which might place 
us in the same familiar relations with the olden 
time in this country, which we are enabled to en- 
joy with the days of Pepys, and Boswell, and 
Alexander Carlyle, and Horace Walpole. Judge 


Trumbull was not without distinction in various 
public offices, but as an early writer, thoroughly 
American in all things, and possessing both learn- 
inor and Q^enius, he is entitled to honored remem- 
brance. His placid and kindly face was not known 
to many of this generation, but he ought not to 
be forgotten by the citizens of his latest home. 

In 1832, Judges Woodbridge and Chipman 
were superseded by George Morell of New York, 
and Ross Wilkins of Pennsylvania. Both of these 
gentlemen were prominent in judicial life after 
the State was admitted into the Union, as well as 
during the Territory, and their reputation is familiar 
to all our people. They were very important and 
active agents in the development of our juris- 

On the 29th of June, 1832, a statute was passed 
to call an election on the first Tuesday of Octo- 
ber, to determine " whether it be expedient for 
the people of this Territory to form a State gov- 
ernment." At this election all free white male 
inhabitants of the age of twenty-one years were 
allowed to vote. The result of the election 
was a very decisive expression in favor of the 

In the early spring of this year, Black Hawk, 
a Sac chief who had moved beyond the Missis- 
sippi, and by repeated conventions had agreed to 
stay there, came across the river with a band of 
Sacs and Foxes, and committed depredations in 

436 BLACK HAWK WAR. [Chap. X1\. 

northern Illinois, and southern Wisconsin, which 
was then in the Territory of Michigan. The Gov- 
ernor of Illinois sent up a force under General 
Whiteside, who left Beardstown on the 27th of 
April, with 1,800 men, for the mouth of Rock 
River. General Atkinson moved up from St. 
Louis early in April, with a force of regulars. 
Colonel Henry Dodge of Michigan raised a force 
of Territorial volunteers, and rendered very im- 
portant services, having taken measures to prevent 
mischief from the Winnebagoes and other doubt- 
ful Michigan Indians, and then entered vigorously 
upon a decisive campaign. Many sharp fights 
took place during the spring and summer, and 
on the 2d of August the last battle was fought, 
in which Colonel Dodge and Colonel Zachary 
Taylor, afterwards President of the United States, 
had command in the advance, and the Indian 
force was nearly annihilated. Black Hawk was 
held as a prisoner for several months, being last 
confined in Fortress Monroe. He was, in June, 
1833, taken out of that fort, and escorted through 
the principal towns back to the Mississippi ; and 
during the remaining seven years of his Hie he 
behaved himself with propriety, and made no fur- 
ther trouble. The officer who first took him down 
the river to Jefferson barracks was then known 
as Lieutenant Jefferson Davis, of the I'uited States 
Army. Although intelligent, and having some 
causes of grievance, Black Hawk was not one of 
the best types of Indians. The Sacs and Foxes 


Chap. XTV.l CHOTF.RA. 437 

had a bad reputation when the French first came 
to Detroit, and they never lost it. Black. Hawk's 
own story shows him to have been very treach- 
erous. He was an old man of 65 when this last 
Indian war broke out, and was in the British in- 
terest as long as they provided for him. He 
seems to have had an idea that the British gov- 
ernment would help him. He had never kept 
informed of the American settlement of Michigan, 
and nothing surprised him more than the changes 
in Detroit and the other settlements, with which 
he had been familiar during the war of 181 2. 
He had not learned before that Maiden had ceased 
to plague the Northwest. 

The losses of men by the casualties of battle 
in the Black Hawk war were not so great as 
might have been feared. There was, however, a 
worse enemy than the Indians, and the ravages 
of the Asiatic cholera were fearful. This dreadful 
disease did not reach many of the troops while 
in the field, near the seat of war. But it inter- 
cepted them on the way, and broke up a part of 
the expeditions sent out from the seaboard. 

The coming of the cholera had been expected, 
as it had been making its way steadily westward 
from Asia for many months. The Michigan Legis- 
lative Council passed laws early in the summer, 
for the proper organization of boards of health, 
and had given large powers to the municipal 
bodies. But while cleanliness was known to be 
essential, no remedies had yet been discovered to 

438 CHOLERA. [Chap. XlV, 

check or cure the disease ; and while the physi- 
cians were diligently *studying how to meet it, all 
manner of nostrums and preventives were resorted 
to by the terrified people. It reached Detroit be- 
fore midsummer, and at once the large body of 
laboring people, who had nothing to keep them 
in the city, fled into the country, with exaggerated 
stories of horrors, which were bad enough at the 
best. Many citizens were attacked by the cholera 
in a severe form, and a large share of them died. 
A church building was converted into ^ hospital, 
and all was done which could be to mitigate the 
sufferings of the victims. Business was hardly 
thought of. The air, whether really or in fancy, 
appeared unusually oppressive ; and at nightfall, 
at the street crossings and all along the public 
ways, as well as at private houses, great kettles 
of burning pitch blazed, and threw up dark columns 
of smoke late into the night. The customary so- 
lemnities of burial were shortened, and sometimes 
neglected. A rigid quarantine intercepted the or- 
dinary course of travel. But the omission which 
at first was most noted, was that of the tolling 
of the bell. A custom had prevailed for a long 
time of ringing the passing bell, immediately after 
the death of any person in the town. , The build- 
ings were mostly within a small compass, and 
the bell of the First Protestant Society, which 
was used for all public purposes, could be dis- 
tinctly heard everywhere. In such small commu- 
nities the death of any one interests the feelings 


of all ; and the tolling which announced that 
some one had just departed, was always heard 
with solemn emotions. But when the victims of 
the cholera began to multiply, the frequency of 
these knells added to the general panic, and it 
became necessary to discontinue them. The cus- 
tom once broken was not renewed, and was soon 

A considerable force of United States troops 
was ordered to the seat of war, and they were all 
sent up by steamboats from Buffalo, bound for 
Chicago. These detachments reached Detroit 
early in July. The Michigan volunteers from De- 
troit had left before the cholera became fatal, and 
marched across the country ; but their services 
were not required, and the orders were counter- 
manded before they reached Lake Michigan. 
Colonel Garry Spencer's cavalry troop had 
marched beyond the St. Joseph's River, but the 
infantry had not gone very far before they were 
recalled. The first detachment of regulars, con- 
sisting of 220 men, accompanied by Major General 
Winfield Scott, went up on the steamboat Sheldon 
Thompson. When she left Chicago on the re- 
turn " trip, one officer and 51 men had died, and 
80 were sick. General Scott and several other 
officers had mild attacks of the cholera, but s"bon 

On the 8th of July it was known in Detroit 
that of 370 who had gone up after General 
Scott's party, under Colonel Twiggs, and had been 


compelled to land below Fort Gratiot, only 150 
remained — a large number having died of cholera 
and the rest deserted. Very few of these panic- 
stricken wretches reached Detroit. Most of them 
died in the woods and on the road, and of these 
many were devoured by wolves and other 
beasts. A third detachment, under Colonel Cum- 
mings, had at first encamped at Detroit, where 
several died. The survivors were embarked on 
the William Penn, but in a short time were com- 
pelled to return. They were put in camp again 
at Springwells, and there was afterwards compara- 
tively little mortality among them. It was 
reckoned that more than half of the aggregate 
commands were swept away. Of six companies 
that left Fortress Monroe, but 180 men returned; 
and the losses among others were in similar pro- 

Among the more prominent citizens who died 
during this summer, were Father Gabriel Richard, 
and General Charles Larned, — a distinguished 
lawyer, who had been Attorney General of the 
lerritory. Jacob M. Howard, and Franklin 
Sawyer, (afterwards Superintendent of Public In- 
struction,) were students in his office. 

On the 28th of June, 1834, all the territory 
west of the Mississippi River and north of 
Missouri, as far as the Missouri and White Earth 
Rivers, was attached to, and made a part of the 
Territory of Michigan. The Legislative Council 
was also authorized to hold an extra session, on 


the call of the Governor. The necessity of this 
arose from the annexation. 

On the .5th of July, Governor Porter died of 
cholera, which was during that summer very fatal. 
Seven per cent of the population of Detroit died 
in a single month. His funeral services were 
celebrated in the Capitol, and were attended by 
a very large concourse of people, who held him 
in great respect. His death would have been a 
loss to the Territory at any time, and it was at 
this time especially lamentable, as the public 
affairs soon became critical, and would have been 
all the better for his good sense and prudence. 

The Council was called together by Acting 
Governor Mason in September. The western ter- 
ritory was set off into the Counties of Dubuque 
and Des Moines, and put in the same circuit 
with the County of Iowa, east of the Mississippi. 
A law was passed tor taking a census of the 
Territory. Provision was also made for appoint- 
ing boundary commissioners, to adjust the southern 
boundaries with Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Noth- 
ing came of this latter project. 

Governor Porter's place was never tilled. 
General Jackson sent to the Senate for confirma- 
tion the name of Henry D. Gilpin. This nomina- 
nation was rejected. The President and Senate 
were not at this time in full accord, and Mr. 
Gilpin was obnoxious as having been connected 
with some of the matters which had given rise to 
the difficulty. This arose chiefly trom the appoint- 

442 POPULATION. [Chap. XIV. 

inent of Roger B. Taney as Secretary of the 
Treasury, and his removal of the pubHc deposits 
from the United States Bank, which led to resolu- 
tions of censure on the part of the Senate, and 
to a new political organization and the merging 
of the old parties. Mr. Taney's nomination was 
held over by the President until the end of the 
session, when he was rejected at once. General 
Jackson made no further nomination after Mr. 
Gilpin's rejection. Afterwards he had entertained 
the idea of filling the vacancy by an appointment 
during the recess. Finding this could not be done, 
he left Secretary Mason in charge of the executive 
department of the Territory, until he became dis- 
satisfied with his course during the period before 
the establishment of the State government. As 
this occurred but a few weeks before Governor 
Mason was elected and assumed office under the 
State, it was too late to be anything but a source 
of some trouble to the estimable — but impru- 
dent — gentleman who last undertook to govern 
Michigan as a Territory. 

The census, which was completed before the 
adjournment of the Council, showed that, within 
the boundaries of the original Territory of Mich- 
igan, there were 87,273 free inhabitants. This 
was an increase of 61,768 beyond the 26,505 re- 
ported by the census of 1830. More people had 
come into Michigan in four years than the 60,000 
which entitled her to become a State. This did 
not include the large immigration west of Lake 

Chap. XIV.] WISCONSIN. 443 

Michigan, whereby Wisconsin had already obtained 
a population which would give her, if a Territory, 
the right to a complete popular legislature. The 
Legislative Council of Michigan, in December, 
1834, memorialized Congress upon the subject of 
establishing a Territorial government for Wisconsin. 
This had been mooted for some time, and " Huron" 
Territory had been the vei^ inappropriate name 
before suggested for it. The Hurons had not 
lived there, and Lake Huron did not touch it. 
The name finally selected was appropriate and 
satisfactory. Nothing was done by Congress to 
set apart this Territory until Michigan was ready 
for admission, when Wisconsin was set off, and 
her new career of independence began on the 
4th of July, 1836. But the last delegate to Con- 
gress from Michigan Territory, George W. Jones, 
had been purposely allowed to be chosen from 
Wisconsin ; and the Michigan authorities had done 
all in their power to advance the admission of 
that region as a separate Territory. 

On the 26th of January, 1835, an act was 
passed, which, after reciting the act of 1805, 
whereby the territory north of an east and west 
line, running from the southerly bend of Lake 
Michigan to Lake Erie, was set off as the Terri- 
tory of Michigan, and the people, whenever there 
should be 60,000 free inhabitants, were authorized 
to form a permanent constitution and organize as 
a State, appointed an election of delegates to form 
a convention to adopt a constitution and State 


government. The election was to be held on vSat- 
urday, April 4, 1835; and the convention was to 
meet at Detroit, on the second Monday of May. 
The delegates were to be adult citizens of the 
United States, and the voters adult free white male 
inhabitants. The inhabitants of the strip of land 
attached to Indiana were allowed to vote in the 
districts and counties 'immediately north of them. 
This Indiana strip had never been included in the 
organized counties of Michigan, and the Council 
disclaimed any design to assume control over it, 
until their rights could be adjudicated. 

Up to this time Michigan had been in peaceable 
possession of the country east of Indiana, and 
north of the latitude of the southern point of Lake 
Michigan, as surveyed in 181 8, and the authority 
of Ohio had not been in force there. It had been 
included in 1827 in the Township of Port Law- 
rence, laid out at the same time with the earliest 
township divisions in the rest of^ the Territory. 
The first act laying out Territorial roads, in 1828, 
had established such a road from Port Lawrence, 
through Adrian, in Lenawee County, to intersect 
the Chicago Road, and the authorities had sur- 
veyed and laid it out, and opened it, at the ex- 
pense of the Territory. The Erie and Kalamazoo 
Railroad was chartered in 1833, from Port Law- 
rence to Adrian, and thence to the Kalamazoo 
River; and the only authority whereby lands were 
obtained for its line was under the laws of 


In the beginninor of this year, (1835,) Governor 
Lucas of Ohio sent in to the Legislature of that 
State a message asserting jurisdiction over the 
territory south of the mouth of Maumee Bay, and 
urging legislation to possess and control it. The 
Legislative Council of Michigan, upon receiving 
notice of this by a message from the acting Gov- 
ernor, passed an act on the 12th of February, 
1835, "to prevent the exercise of foreign jurisdic- 
tion within the limits of the Territory of Mich- 
igan," whereby it was made highly penal for any 
one to accept or exercise any public office, in any 
part of the Territory, except by commission from 
the United States or from Michigan. On the 23rd 
of February, the Ohio Legislature passed a series 
of acts and resolutions, asserting jurisdiction over 
the land in question, declaring that measures 
should be taken by all the departments of the 
State government to establish it; extending or- 
ganized counties so as to cover it, and directing 
commissioners to run the boundary line ; and re- 
quiring all public officers to extend their authority 
over it. Governor Lucas at once notified the 
county officers to exercise their functions, and the 
major general under whose command the new dis- 
tricts were placed to enrol the inhabitants in the 
militia ; and he determined to attend the spring 
elections in person, to see to the complete re-or- 
ganization, and appointed commissioners to meet 
him at Perrysburgh, on the ist of April, to run the 
line. The Territorial authorities broueht the mat- 


ter to the attention of the President. Congress 
had adjourned without passing an act giving the 
land to Ohio, which had been sought by Ohio 
but had failed at two recent successive sessions. 
Governor Mason ordered General Joseph W. 
Brown, commanding the Michigan militia, to hold 
himself in readiness to resist any attempt of Ohio 
to carry out the threatened measures ; and the 
Council appropriated money to enable the execu- 
tive to enforce the laws of the Territory. The 
Michigan authorities used such force as was ne- 
cessary, to repel intrusion and arrest offenders 
against the law, and the difficulties became very 
menacing. The Attorney General of the United 
States, Benjamin F. Butler, (of New York,) de- 
cided that the Michigan authorities were in the 
right, and such was the view of the President and 
his advisers ; but Messrs. Rush and Howard were 
sent out as commissioners, to conciliate matters if 
possible. It was afterwards claimed by Governor 
Lucas, but denied at Washington, that these gen- 
tlemen had made an agreement that the Ohio line 
should be run as claimed, and the people be al- 
lowed to follow their individual predilections as to 
which government they would obey, until the close 
of the next session of Congress. It never was 
pretended that the Michigan authorities consented 
to this ; and if the commissioners had possessed 
any authority, which the Secretary of State ex- 
pressly denied had been attempted to be bestowed 
on them, — such an arrano^ement as the latter, 


which practically would be anarchy, would have 
been at least very unlikely. The Michigan au- 
thorities did not accept or act on such an arrange- 
ment, and proceeded to arrest offenders, as before, 
including a portion of the party of the Ohio sur- 
vey commissioners. Governor Lucas called an 
extra session of the Legislature of Ohio, and they 
passed a statute agreeing to the terms as he as- 
serted them of the United States commissioners, 
provided the United States would compel Mich- 
igan to respect them, — otherwise, directing that 
the Ohio laws should be carried out ; and they 
appropriated $300,000 for that purpose. The 
Governor, on the i8th of June, sent in a second 
message enclosing a sharp correspondence with 
Washington, in which the acting Secretary of State 
denied the correctness of the Governors under- 
standing of the views of the commissioners and 
of the President, and intimated that the latter 
might find it necessary to interfere with the power 
of the United States, if Ohio persisted in running 
the line with an armed escort. Governor Lucas 
afterwards sent commissioners to Washinoton, and 
it was there understood that General Jackson 
would recommend the Michigan authorities to 
avoid any unnecessary violence. For a time 
things remained quiet, with an occasional difficul- 
ty, but no general interference. 

The Legislature of Ohio had, at the latest 
session, undertaken to organize a new county 
named Lucas county, covering the seat of difficulty, 

448 TOLEDO WAR [Chap. XIV. 

and it was understood that it was intended to 
open court at Toledo on the 7th of September, 
and that levies of troops had been made to pro- 
tect the judges in so doing. Governor Mason 
thereupon ordered out the Michigan forces, and 
took possession of Toledo, accompanying the 
troops in person. It is said, but on doubtful au- 
thority, that the court was organized by night, 
and secretly, and immediately adjourned. No op- 
posing forces were encountered by Governor 
Mason ; and the Michigan levies were led back 
over the line, and disbanded at their various 
points of rendezvous. The feeling all over Mich- 
igan was intense, and it is fortunate there was no 
fatal bloodshed. 

Many of the reminiscences of the campaign 
partake of the ludicrous. It is not desirable to 
record the personal incidents and misadventures 
which our troops reported as having befallen 
themselves and some of their civil adversaries. 
Michigan had a skeleton in her own closet, in the 
shape of a " claim of Lewis E. Bailey for a horse 
lost in the service of the State, in defending the 
supremacy of the laws." Year after year, from 
1836 to 1846, this claim was regularly presented 
and regularly rejected, until in the latter year it 
dawned upon the minds of the Legislature that 
it might be better to pay fifty dollars, and inter- 
est trom January ist, 1836, than to waste time and 
printing enough to ^cost more than a regiment of 
horses ; and they surrendered to a siege that 


parallelled in duration diat of Troy. Time has 
healed die odier griefs, and if the historian is 
compelled to discuss them, it is not with the pa- 
thetic lament of Queen Mary over the loss of 
Calais, nor the hankering for territory which has 
made Alsace-Lorraine a debatable s^round so lonor. 
However doubtful the bargain was originally by 
which Ohio obtained the spoils, it has been ratified 
too thoroughly to be disputed ; and our only 
present emulation is friendly and neighborly. 

The history of the disputed boundary is not 
complicated. The Ordinance of 1787, which, as 
already pointed out, was not a mere statute — 
which the confederated Congress had no power 
to enact — was in itself a compact, and article 
of government, for a region over which Congress 
itself could not, as then organized, legislate di- 
rectly at all. It had no ordinary legislative power, 
and reserved none ; but, in pursuance of arrange- 
ments which had all the essentials of treatv obli- 
gations, defined certain limits for the temporary 
exercise of authority by a legislative board, until 
the population should reach 5,000 free male in- 
habitants, after which the legislative power of the 
Territory was absolute, subject only to certain 
specified restrictions necessary to justice. The 
time for oro-anizino; the Lei^-Islature was ascertained 
by the Territorial, and not by the Congressional, 
authorities, and it was expressly stipulated, as a 
perpetual compact, that while, as a matter of gi-ace, 
the future States might be admitted with less than 



60,000 inhabitants, each should be entitled to form 
a permanent constitution and State government, 
and be admitted into the Union as a matter of 
right, whenever it should have that number. It 
was not in any way intimated or ..implied that 
Congress should be first required to give permis- 
sion, before the initial steps were taken. The or- 
dinance itself gave this permission, as plainly as 
it did that for establishino- a Territorial Le^isla- 
ture to supplant the Legislative Board. The only 
difficulty that could arise must have arisen out of 
the authority to create five, instead of three 
States. And this was the ground insisted upon 
by those who questioned the right of Michigan. 

The perpetual compact provided for '' not less 

than three, nor more than five. States;" and the 


three contemplated were formed by the indefinite 
continuation northward, to the national boundary 
line, of the present lines between Ohio and Indiana, 
and between Indiana and Illinois. These were sub- 
ject to this proviso: "Provided, however, and it is 
further understood and declared, that the boundar- 
ies of these three States shall be subject so far to 
be altered that if Cono^ress shall thereafter find it 
expedient, they shall have authority to form one or 
two States in that part of the said territory which 
lies north of an east and west line drawn through the 
southeidy bend or extreme of Lake Michigan. And 
whenever any of the said States shall have sixty 
thousand free inhabitants therein, such State shall 
be admitted, by its delegates, into the Congress 


of the United States, on an equal footing with 
the original States in all respects whatever ; and 
shall be at liberty to form a permanent constitu- 
tion and State government : Provided, the con- 
stitution and government so to be formed, shall 
be republican, and in conformity to the principles 
contained in these articles ; and so far as it can 
be consistent with the general interests of the 
confederacy, such admission shall be allowed at 
an earlier period, and when there may be a less 
number of free inhabitants in the State than sixty 

This compact was declared to be perpetual. 
It was established when there was no expectation 
that any change w^ould be made in the articles of 
confederation, which would give Congress any 
legislative power that could tamper with the Or- 
dinance, or provide for governing Territories by 
direct Congressional interference. 

The practical construction put upon it by the 
first Congress of the United States under the 
Constitution, was that it was unalterable. There 
were but two powers reserved to Congress by the 
Ordinance ; one of them — the appointing power — 
being executive in its nature, and the other — the 
designation of States north of the latitude of the 
southern point of Lake Michigan — being one of 
those mixed powers which may be exercised by 
legislatures themselves, or delegated. By the Con- 
stitution of the United States the appointing power 
was made executive entirely ; and the power ol 



admitting States was left Congressional. Instead 
of remodelling this Ordinance, the Congress of 
1 789 adopted this preamble : " IVhereas, in order 
that the Ordinance of the United States in Con- 
u^ress assembled, for the oovernment of the Ter- 
ritory Northwest ot the River Ohio, may continue 
to have full effect, it is requisite that certain pro- 
visions should be made, so as to adapt the samie 
to the present Constitution of the United States. 
" Be it enacted," etc. The chanoe made was in 
transferring the executive functions to the Presi- 
dent and Senate, who under the Constitution had 
succeeded to that branch of the old powers of 
Congress. It is also to be remembered that the 
compact against change did not cover any but six 
specified articles of the Ordinance. 

No subsequent act of Congress for the estab- 
lishment of Territories, outside of the lands owned 
before the Constitution, has ever contained com- 
pacts beyond the recall of Congress ; and it may 
be doubtful whether Congress could so stipulate. 
But no such doubt can exist concerning the Con- 
trress of the Confederation ; and the Compress of 
1 789 evidently intended to respect their agree- 

The east and west line which was named in 
the Ordinance, was adopted without qualification. 
The suggestion of Mr. Binney that it was in- 
definite, because it has no named terminus, would 
hardly have been made on sober reflection. It Is 
as definite as any boundary line could be made 


for dividing northern from southern jurisdiction ; 
and is simply a parallel of latitude, which extends 
wherever there is any territory to bound. It is a 
mere assumption to claim that the Congress of 
1787 laid it out under a mistake, or intended 
to give the eastern State the entire southern shore 
of Lake Erie, or any specific part of it. It gave 
no lake privileges to either of the two others, 
which were quite as worthy of consideration. It 
is definite, and is not ambiguous. In a private 
contract no court could find it open to construction. 

Whether Congress now has the abstract power 
to disregard and change such a stipulation, has 
ceased to be a practical question. In the case of 
the southern boundary of Michigan, it required 
the consent of the State to the change before 
admitting it, and thus precluded the discussion of 
the question before the courts. The main question 
at issue in 1835 was whether such a change had 
been attempted, and whether, if attempted, valid 
or invalid, it was in accordance with good faith. 
A nation may do many things lawfully which she 
cannot do honestly. 

When the County of Wayne was first laid out, 
in 1796, it included all the disputed territory, and 
its southern line extended to the Cuyahoga River. 
When it was proposed to create the State of 
Ohio, this county was not consulted in the first 
instance ; and if Judge Burnet is correct, the State 
was formed below the east and west line of the 
Ordinance for the very purpose of excluding 


Wayne County, for fear it would change the 
political character intended to be given to the 
new State. By the act of Congress, which pur- 
ported to give all inhabitants a right to vote for 
delegates to a convention, no one in Wayne 
County was allowed to vote, either in his own 
county or in any other district. It had not been 
ascertained that the territory included had 60,000 
people, and the law allowing a State to be formed 
was matter of favor and not of right. The 
statute assumed the precise boundary of the 
Ordinance, until it struck Lake Erie, or the 
national boundary line. The delegates were elected 
to do precisely what this act called for ; and their 
action was not referred back to the people for 
ratification. The act of Congress reserved the 
right to annex the country north of the line and 
of Ohio, to that State, or to organize one or more 
States there according to the Ordinance. No 
, power was given to the Ohio convention to change 
the lines. That convention, however, having 
learned that the line mentioned in the Ordinance 
might probably run further south than was supposed, 
passed a resolution providing that, with the assent 
of Congress, the line should in that case be drawn 
from the south point of Lake Michigan to the 
north entrance cape of Maumee Bay. 

No act or resolution was passed by Congress, 
for the express purpose of admitting the State, or 
approving its constitution. The members were 
allowed their seats in the two houses, like those 


from other States ; and the only laws passed as- 
sumed that the State had already become one of 
the United States by the act of Its convention 
alone, under the'terms of the enabling act of 1802. 

When Michigan was organized as a Territory, 
the line of the Ordinance of 1787, and not that 
recommended by the Ohio convention, was adopted 
as the southern boundary. This wast just two 
years after Ohio was admitted, and when her sen- 
ators and representatives were able to represent 
her interests in Congress. Either they did not 
oppose the line, or their opposition was overruled. 
It is evident the Ordinance was still reorarded as 

This is all of the legislation of Congress re- 
cognizing or establishing boundaries. The debates 
in Congress in 1834 and 1835, ^-s well as after the 
formation of the Constitution of Michigan, were 
very full, and several reports were made. It was 
held with almost absolute unanimity, that the dis- 
puted territory belonged to Michigan, until Con- 
gress should legislate further. Mr. Adams and 
others held the Ordinance was irrevocable, and be- 
yond the power of Congress at all. Others, 
holding that Congress had power to give the land 
to Ohio, thought it policy to so grant it. Every 
one felt that unless Michigan consented, there was 
room for legal controversy. A Territory could 
not sue or be sued in the United States Supreme 
Court. A State could sue another State there ; 
and it had been held in the very recent contro- 


versy between New York and New Jersey, as it 
has been several times since, that boundary ques- 
tions could be so litigated. It was only by acting 
before Michigan became a State, and by keeping 
her out until she surrendered her claims, that the 
matter could be put beyond doubt. Indiana and 
Illinois were as much interested as Ohio in fore- 
closine this future liticration ; and Michigan was 
coerced into either giving up her claim, or being- 
left where she could never litigate it. How this 
was done will appear presently. 

If Congress lawfully possessed the power to 
change the boundaries, its decision would have 
been binding, although in violation of a very 
solemn contract. Had it been made without the 
extorted consent of Michigan, the question of 
Congressional right could have been settled by 
the United States Supreme Court. This would 
have lessened the temporary excitement. Ohio 
was not willing to leave open her present right, 
or her right under such legislation ; but, with In- 
diana and Illinois, desired to have it foreclosed 
by some act which would bind Michigan at all 

The equities of Ohio to have the line changed 
were placed by that State, or its Governor, chiefly 
on three grounds, viz : the intent of the Congress 
of 17S7 to follow the supposed line, which was 
further north than the real one ; the action of 
the State constitutional convention ; and the pre- 
ference of the people within the district. 


The last point, if true, could hardly be regard- 
ed. The country had been settled, and its settle- 
ment made possible and facilitated, entirely under 
Michigan law ; and the new preferences, if they 
existed, were very recent, and were created by 
the promise of improvements, coming from 
Indiana, which, if important enough, would sooner 
or later have been made necessary under any 
circumstances. But if the inhabitants of any por- 
tion of a State or Territory are entitled to have 
their wishes for a change of allegiance respected, 
there would soon be an end to governments. 

If there was a mistake concerning the real 
position of the southerly point of Lake Michigan, 
no one knows just where it was supposed to be 
or who made it. The pencil line on a map said 
to have been before the committee of Congress 
— although the map has never been verified, and 
the story is somewhat apocryphal, — is said at 
the same time to have thrown the line a little 
below Detroit, and far to the north of the Mau- 
mee. There is no evidence that Congress paid 
any attention to this question, or cared where the 
line fell; inasmuch as it was subject to their 
future discretion whether to run the line at all or 
not. It was not the wish of the people of Mich- 
igan in 1802 to be separated from Ohio. It was 
known they would have voted against this ; and 
when they were separated, it was on the basis 
that all of Wayne County should be cut off from 
a voice or interest in the new State. If the Con- 


crress of 1S02 examined into the matter at all of 
the location of the line, it is quite as likely, and 
more consistent with honesty, that they meant to 
follow the then existing lines of Wayne County, 
as that they meant to cut off a portion of it 
without giving the people a right assured to every 
other inhabitant of the country set apart as Ohio. 
Wayne County was very well known to cover 
this land. 

What map was supposed to have been before 
the Congressional committee is not known. 
There were undoubtedly maps then extant which 
did not place Lake Michigan as far to the south- 
ward as it really ran. But there were others 
that did. If it had been deemed essential, some 
care would probably have been taken to find out 
the latitude. The French explorers often gave 
the result of their observations with accuracy, but 
their maps are not uniform, and very few maps 
of that period were carefully protracted. D'An- 
ville's map places the south end of Lake Michi- 
gan below any part of Lake Erie. Some of the 
French and English maps bring it so far east as 
to strike the line between Ohio and Indiana. 
The map in Parkman's '* Conspiracy of Pontiac " 
is substantially accurate, in regard to the relative 
positions ol the two lakes. It is not stated from 
what that was copied. It may be modern, but if 
so it is not drawn from modern sources in many 
respects, and in some is very inaccurate. It is 
probable that in the one particular of making the 


point of Lake Michigan north of the Maumee 
Rapids, the preponderance in number exists in 
favor of it among the maps then in vogue. But 
where this is so, they do not even approach an 
agreement as to the real Hne. And it is not 
asserted that the Ohio convention of 1802 acted 
on any map or upon any other definite informa- 
tion, in desiring Congress to change the Hne. 
They proceeded on the statement of a man who 
was no surveyor. The equity is a very sHght 
one, at best, that hangs on such a support, and 
the evidence is not clear even as to that. 

As to the action of the convention of 1802, 
its force is the other way, for they knew the line 
must be changed, if made to suit them, and Con- 
gress never changed it, but at several different 
periods acted adversely. The organization of 
Michigan, in 1805, was upon the expressed theory 
that the line was at all events to run east from 
the point of Lake Michigan. In 1807, Governor 
Hull procured from the Indians a grant of right 
of way for a road from the foot of the Miami 
Rapids to the Connecticut Reserve, for the 
expressed purpose of connecting the Ohio and 
Michigan settlements. In 181 2, Congress required 
the Michigan line to be run on the parallel of 
the south point of Lake Michigan. Applications 
were made to Congress on behalf of the more 
northern line as desired by Ohio, repeatedly 
through a period of several years, and were never 
acceded to. Ohio never attempted to claim by 



practical steps that the Hne was already as she 
desired, until Michipan was about becoming; a 
State ; when Governor Lucas took the measures 
already alluded to, under pretexts of title. 

The action of (Governor Mason and the Mich- 
igan Council was no more than every civilized 
government is bound to exercise, when her peace- 
able possession under the law of the land is 
suddenly invaded. The United States laws, as 
well as the Territorial laws, had defined the Terri- 
torial jurisdiction ; and the Territory was in posses- 
sion, — not recently asserted but long undisturbed. 
The civil officers had no riaht to abdicate their 
powers ; and neither the Governor nor the Presi- 
dent, both of whom w^ere the servants of the law, 
could have relieved those officers from liability for 
neglecting the duties which the law laid on them. 
No Michigan officer ever attempted to surrender 
the authority of the Territory. Had he done so 
he could have bound no one. There is no likeli- 
hood that Commissioners Rush and Howard made 
any such attempt. If they had attempted it, their 
action would also have been nugatory; and every 
one of common sense must have known it to be 
so. The President of the United States has power 
to remove governors of Territories, and may thus 
indirectly secure such action as men who choose 
to abdicate their manhood may take to please him. 
But neither he nor his appointees could lawfully 
interfere to change or suspend the laws of the 
Territory ; and General Jackson is not shown to 


have asserted any such power. It is not within 
the constitutional power of any State to set on 
foot a war of invasion ; and acts of violence done 
beyond the State by any one would be in law 
mere private misdeeds, which would be punishable 
in the same way, whether authorized or disavowed 
by the State. The opinion of Mr. Butler, and of 
the United States executive, was In harmony with 
these principles. While a nation may, perhaps, 
by avowing an act of Its officers abroad, cover 
them from personal responsibility and put itself 
in their stead, a State of the Union has no extra- 
territorial functions, and cannot justify others in 
doing" wrongful acts elsewhere. 

It is probable that, in the excitement of the 
times, those Michigan officers who performed 
their functions In the disputed territory, were not 
always careful to measure their conduct by line 
and plummet ; and abuses may have been com- 
mitted under color of law. This, though not 
justifiable, was, in view of the natural infirmity of 
human dispositions, a consequence easily foreseen ; 
and it resulted from the provocation and resistance. 
Although a defendant who justifies an as.sault b\' 
pleading against his adversary son assault doiicsnc 
(his own assault,) usually sets up for himself that 
he thereupon softly laid hands on him, {Diollitcr 
manus iniposuit,) yet a jury generally finds that 
any laying on of hands not grossly in excess of 
what would suffice for self-protection, is soft 
enough to satisfy the conscience. The alia oioruiia. 



— the filling in or aggravation of the charges, — 
in cases of border violence, is not usually regarded 
as putting the offended — and in turn offending — 
power in the wrong upon the main question. 

But after the lapse of forty years, and the 
growth of many friendly relations, it is not 
unpleasant to remember that the only lives lost 
were those of two horses, one on either side, one 
— according to tradition — an Ohio steed slain by 
General Stickney by mistake, and one lost in 
some unknown way, for which the State of Mich- 
igan paid Mr. Bailey. A sheriff's officer who was 
stabbed by Two Stickney recovered in due course 
of time ; and those who suffered other oriefs have 
probably been sufficiently repaid by the serene 
consciousness of having some personal adventures 
to talk about. 

The Constitutional Convention met at Detroit, 
on the second Monday in May, 1835, and after 
a patient session, submitted a Constitution for 
the popular approval, which became operative by 
adoption. An election was called for the first 
Monday in October, 1835, to vote upon the Con- 
stitution, and to elect a Governor, Lieutenant 
Governor, Members of the State Legislature, and 
a Representative in Congress, all to become enti- 
tled to their offices in case the Constitution should 
be ratified. The first Leofislature was to meet on 
the first Monday of November. 

This Constitution contained the usual bill of 
> rights. Its only peculiar political feature was that 


it gave the right of voting to all free adult white 
male inhabitants who were residents of Michio-an 
when the Constitution was signed, whether citizens 
of the United States or not. This provision, 
(which had no permanent importance, because all 
voters would soon be otherwise qualified for 
naturalization) was a difficulty urged with some 
force in Congress, against the validity of the 
Constitution, as interfering with the laws of the 
United States. It is however to be borne in 
mind that the Ordinance of 1787 did not require 
voters to be citizens of the United States. At 
that time each State had its own naturalization 
laws; and two years' residence in the Territory 
made one a voter, if otherwise qualified. The 
action was, therefore, not entirely without prece- 
dent, and was necessary to prevent the dis- 
franchisement of those who had been allowed to 
vote for the delegates who sat in the convention. 

The Legislature consisted of a Senate and 
House of Representatives, over whose acts the 
Governor had a veto power corresponding to that 
of the President. The Governor and Lieutenant 
Governor were to be elected for terms of two 
years, and the executive power was vested, as by 
the United States Constitution, in the Governor, 
or in the Governor and Senate. The courts 
were to consist of one Supreme Court, and such 
inferior courts as the Legislature should ordain ; 
except that express provision was made for 
courts of probate and justices of the peace. 



Cabinet officers, and all other State officers, were 
to be appointed by the Governor and Senate. 
County and town officers, judicial as well as min- 
isterial, were made elective. Education was to be 
supported and encouraged, a university and 
schools maintained, and the university and school 
lands and their proceeds, and all other funds 
obtained for similar purposes, were to be kept 
inviolate. A superintendent of public instruction 
was also provided for, — judges and State officers 
were subject to impeachment for criminal and 
corrupt conduct ; and judges could be removed 
on the address of two thirds of each branch of 
the Legislature. Other offices were subject to 
removal as might be enacted. Slavery and invol- 
untary servitude were forbidden except on con- 
viction of crime. Internal improvements of all 
kinds were to be encouraged by the State. Acts 
of incorporation could only be passed by two 
thirds of the Legislature. 

This Constitution was very simple, and very 
much better adapted to the changing necessities 
of a growing State than the present one. While 
it restrained such abuses as it was thought would 
be most dangerous, it left to the Legislature 
broad discretion. xA.ll who have had much to do with 
studying and construing the two instruments, have 
discovered that, while a few restrictions concerning 
finances and internal improvements have been 
found beneficial and necessary, — the bulk of the 
special legislation contained in the Constitution of 


1850 has been a hindrance, and not an advantage. 
In a republican government it must be assumed 
that the popular representatives in the Legislature 
will act usually with honest motives and reasonable 
prudence ; and while some things should not be 
allowed under any circumstances, and others re- 
quire checks, yet all which is subject to be changed 
by time and changing events, ought in general to 
be within legislative discretion. 

The Constitution was ratified, and Stevens T. 
Mason was elected Governor, and Edward Mundy 
Lieutenant Governor. Isaac E. Crary was elected 
Representative in Cong;-ess. 

Before this election, in August, 1835, ^^^ Globe 
contained the following : " Appointment by the 
President. Charles Shaler, of Pennsylvania, to be 
Secretary of the Territory of Michigan, vice 
Stevens T. Mason, superseded." This was followed 
by a long article in which it was set forth that 
Mr. Mason had disregarded the President's wishes, 
and the peaceful arrangements which had been 
made concerning the territorial disputes with Ohio. 
As Congress had not acted upon the subject, it 
is questionable how far the President had any 
right to interpose with his wishes. He had, how- 
ever, the right to remove the Secretary. judge 
Shaler would, no doubt, have been appointed 
Governor, if that appointment could have been 
made during the recess. He was personally an 
excellent selection, but he did not covet the office 
under existing circumstances. It was Judge 


Shaler, — then a young man, who volunteered to 
carry from Cleveland to General Hull the news 
of the declaration of war ; which he did with enter- 
prise and rapidity, through difficulties ; and, having 
overtaken the army between the Maumee and 
the Raisin, he was compelled to remain in Detroit 
until the surrender. He was a gentleman who 
would have commanded respect and esteem from 
the people, whatever they might have thought of 
his authority ; but he declined the appointment. 

On the 15th of September, the official journal 
contained, with some editorial answers to eastern 
newspaper criticisms on the course of the Presi- 
dent, the following appointment. " John S. Horner, 
of Virginia, Secretary of the Territory of Michi- 
gan, Charles Shaler having declined the appoint- 
ment. We learn that Mr. Horner has accepted 
the above mentioned appointment, and that he is 
now on his way to Detroit." On the i6th of 
September, the Cleveland Whig, announcing that 
Mr. Horner had that morning left for Detroit, 
adds that it is prepared to hear that the people 
of Michigan utterly contemn the authority of the 
new Governor, so far as his policy may differ 
essentially from that pursued by Mr. Mason. 

Mr. Horner arrived in Michigan when troubles 
on the frontier had temporarily revived, and just 
after the troops had been sent down for the last 
time to Toledo. The elections were to come off 
in a fortnight, and in about six weeks the State 
government would be organized. He interfered 


with what had been done in the courts, by par- 
doning everybody but Two Stickney. He had 
come out with distinct notions that he had a 
mission to perform, but found no one who would 
co-operate with him. It is beHeved that a very 
upright and estimable gendeman of the bar 
recognized him officially so far as to accept a 
commission of notary public. But his executive 
labors were very solitary, and the people began 
to show signs of disapprobadon. On the 12th 
of July, 1835, he addressed a meedng at the 
Detroit City Hall, giving his views and intentions 
at length, and apparendy with some degree of 
self-asserdon. After he had concluded his speech, 
the meedng organized, and several resoludons 
were adopted, among which was the following: 
(Jacob M. Howard, who in those days was 
lieutenant in the Detroit City Guards, and in that 
capacity had gone to Toledo armed and equipped 
with sword and pistols, was already known to 
fame as a man of powerful intellect and strong 
convictions; and from the style and tone of this 
resoludon, it would not be hazarding much to 
conjecture that ''the voice was Jacob's voice.") 

" Resolved, that if our present Secretary of the 
Territory should find it beyond his control, either 
from the nature of his instrucdons, his feelings of 
tenderness towards those who had for a lon^ 
period of dme set at defiance as well the laws o^^f 
the Territory as those of the United States, or 
any feelings of delicacy entertained towards the 



executive of a neighboring State, who has in vain 
endeavored to take a forcible possession of a part 
of our territory, to enable him to properly carry 
into effect the existing laws of this Territory, it is 
to be hoped he will relinquish the duties of his 
office, and return to the land of his nativity." 

Mr. Horner was a gentleman of excellent 
character, and not wanting in ability. But he 
magnified his office, under the favor and encourage- 
ment of General Jackson, who had found the place 
was not much sought after ; and the Secretary 
was rather more peremptory and assuming than 
the people were accustomed to hnd their public 
officers, and more dictatorial than they were dis- 
posed to submit to. The result was that neither 
judiciary nor ministerial officers paid any respect 
to him, — he met with very little private civility 
or attention, — and in some instances he was 
treated with active discourtesy, which sometimes 
took a form which was not generally approved. 
In Ypsilanti a disorderly concourse pelted the 
windows of his tavern lodgings, so that he re- 
sorted to a safe place to sleep on the floor ; and 
it is said that the landlord charged in his bill 
the damages caused by the lapiclation. It was 
generally thought, however, that until the State 
became organized, his position should secure him 
against insults not provoked by adequate cause ; 
and while he did not as Secretary receive the 
friendly civilities which his private character would 
have secured to him as a private citizen, he was 


not Otherwise molested. After the State officers 
assumed their functions, General Jackson directed 
him not to recognize them. The result of this 
was that he soon found it pleasant to remove to 
that part of the former Territory of Michigan 
over which no State government had been 
asserted. He settled in Wisconsin, where he has 
always been respected for his personal worth 
and many virtues. It is much to be regretted 
that so worthy a gentleman was put into a false 
position, which exposed him to many difficulties, 
and some indignities. 

The Legislature met on the first Monday of 
November, 1835. ^^ the loth of November, a 
rule was adopted for the election of Senators, 
providing for a separate election by the two 
houses, and in case of disagreement, for an elec- 
tion in joint convention. Lucius Lyon was elected 
unanimously in each house. Major John Biddle 
received a majority of four in the Senate, and 
John Norvell a majority of seven in the House. 
Mr. Norvell was thereupon elected on joint 
ballot, and he and Mr. Lyon were the first 
Senators of the new State. George W. Jones, 
residing In Wisconsin, was elected Territorial 
Delegate, — the Territory of Michigan extending 
beyond the State, and therefore continuing. 

The Constitution provided for the continuance 
of Territorial officers until superseded. The or- 
ganization of State courts was postponed until 
July, 1836, as the Territorial judges were entirely 


satisfactory, and therefore time was desirable to 
mature a judicial system. After a short session 
the Legislature adjourned until January, hoping 
that by that time the State would be admitted. 

The admission, however, met with violent 
opposition. The principal reasons arose out of 
the slavery question. The States interested in 
the southern boundary of Michigan, which the 
constitutional convention had re-asserted by resolu- 
tion, opposed it on that ground, although the 
matter would by the admission into the Union 
have become subject to settlement in the United 
States Supreme Court; where Michigan had desired 
to take it, and had passed resolutions to that 
end, to have a speedy suit to settle the boundaries. 
Arkansas had been taking preliminary steps for 
admission, and it was known there might be some 
objections to it on account of extreme provisions 
for the protection of slavery, which it was expected 
would be inserted, and which were inserted, in its 
constitution. There was a determination in each 
extreme of the Union not to allow one State to 
come in without the admission of the other as a 
counterpoise. As some of the reasons acted upon 
were not such as it would seem quite desirable 
to set up openly, various pretexts and grounds 
were advanced, — some no doubt from conviction — 
others with as little doubt for effect. A primary 
difficulty raised against both States, was that 
Congress had not authorized the holding of con- 
stitutional conventions. This was not true in re- 


gard to Michigan ;— for the Ordinance of 1787, 

reasserted when the Territory was organized, 

provided expressly for the formation of a State 
as soon as the free population reached sixty 
thousand. The application for Arkansas was made 
in February, 1836; and thereafter it was for some 
time, in reality, ^ contest on the slavery question, 
while in form it was mainly a discussion of the 
right to call conventions without the previous assent 
of Congress. But so far as Michigan was con- 
cerned, political reasons of a pressing, if not very 
fair, character, rendered it an object to conciliate 
the neighboring States of Ohio, Indiana and 
Illinois, in view of an approaching Presidential 
election. Some members were also impressed 
with a notion that, although Michigan had explicidy 
desired to seek a judicial determination of her 
boundaries, there was danger of bloodshed from 
Illinois, and possibly elsewhere, unless Congress 
mterfered. Committees reported in favor of giving 
Ohio the line she asked, and of confirmino- the- 
boundaries possessed by Indiana and Illinois; 
while, to prevent future litigation concerning the 
binding character of the compact of 1787, they 
proposed to compel Michigan to wait for admis- 
sion until she conceded those boundaries. 

Colonel Benton, in his "Thirty Years' View," 
— while passing over the boundary question as 
one which, when he wrote, had ceased to be im- 
portant, — narrates very fully the course of the 
contest in 1835-6 over the admission of the two 



States. The debates were unprecedented for ob- 
stinacy, — the last session in committee having con- 
tinued twenty-five hours, and the real purposes 
of the contestants not having been plainly avowed. 
There was not only a desire to keep off the final 
vote, but a contest of priority between the bills ; 
and this grew chiefly out of the slavery dispute. 
The Michigan bill got the preference, and was 
passed first by a large vote ; and the vote on the 
admission of Arkansas was nearly the same. The 
opposition on the final vote in each case was in- 
dependent of party ; and the contest throughout 
was on other than party grounds. 

The acts for the admission of both States were 
thus passed and signed together, on the 15th of 
June, 1836. But they were left in very different 
positions. Arkansas was received into the Union at 
once and unconditionally. Michigan w^as not to be 
received except with the southern boundary claimed 
by Indiana and desired by Ohio. The Upper Pen- 
insula east of Montreal River, and the American 
part of Lake Superior from that point to the 
northwestern national boundary line, were thrown 
in as a sort of compensation for the land taken 
off at the south. Until the new boundary line was 
adopted by a convention of delegates elected for 
that purpose, by the people of Michigan, she was 
not to be admitted at all. 

There was much ingenuity in the scheme 
devised to secure this consent. It was known 
that the people of the State were largely in 


favor of admission, and equally sure that they 
were unanimously opposed to any boundary con- 
cessions until the right received judicial determin- 
ation. If admitted, it was certain the electoral 
vote would be cast for Mr. \^an Buren. The act 
expressly recognized the election of United States 
Senators and Representative as valid, and the 
prevailing — though not unanimous — view was that 
under the Ordinance the Territory had become a 
State, but a State awaiting admission. Wisconsin 
was created a separate Territory from and after 
July 4th, 1836. Michigan had meanwhile organ- 
ized Its own judiciary, to go Into office July ist, 
1836. The Senators and Representative were of 
course desirous of entering upon their duties, and 
the ingenious theory had been propounded that 
the assent of a convention thus obtained would 
be void as a violation of the State Constitution, 
which had located all the powers of government, 
and had not recognized any such body as a con- 
vention. But as Congress had to determine on 
the assent as a political question, and the ques- 
tion of admission was not within the power of 
the people, this theory was not regarded as ten- 
able for any practical purpose, whether technically 
correct or not. 

The popular feeling was at once aroused, and 
hostile. An effort was now made to convert the 
proposals into a party question, which succeeded 
partially, but not completely. There had been no 
divisions of parties before on any of these ques- 


tions, although the partisan journals had been a 
good deal at variance. The Governor called an ex- 
tra session of the Legislature, to provide for a 
convention, and it met on the iith of July. A 
public dinner had taken place in Detroit on the 
4th, at which many speeches and volunteer toasts 
were given by leading politicians of both parties, 
and they were equally earnest in their expressions 
of disgust. The Governor's message was a very 
able and fair document, in which he submitted the 
subject as one which must after all be decided on 
as one of policy; and while not disposed to ac- 
quiesce, if there was any likelihood of a better de- 
cision in the future, he thought it might perhaps 
be found inevitable. The Free Press — the orphan 
of the Democratic party — on the same day indi- 
cated less disposition than the Governor to make 
the concession. On the first of July, 1836, the 
provisions for district courts and other United 
States offices, which are usually passed when 
States are admitted, and which had been included 
in the body of the act admitting Arkansas, were 
enacted separately; but with a proviso that this 
act should " not take effect until the State of Mich- 
igan shall be admitted into the Union according to 
the provisions of the act e^ititled 'An Act to establish 
the northern boundary of the State of Ohio, and to 
provide for the admission of the State of Michigan 
into the Union on certain conditio7isl " It should 
have been remarked before, that this had fixed the 
Ohio, Indiana and Michigan boundaries positively 


and unconditionally, the conditions only applying 
to the admission of Michigan, which was made a 
subordinate heading of the bill. Congress ad- 
journed on the 4th of July. Under the settled 
rules of construction, the act of the ist of July was 
a dead letter until the admission of the State ; and 
no appointments could be made under it until 
then. But before the Senate adjourned, the Pres- 
ident nominated, and the Senate confirmed, Ross 
Wilkins as District Judge, Daniel Goodwin as Dis- 
trict Attorney, and Conrad Ten Eyck as Marshal, 
with the proviso that their commissions should not 
issue until the admission of the State into the 
Union. As a judge when once appointed cannot 
be removed except by impeachment, this would 
have raised a very awkward question, if the con- 
sent of Michigan had been postponed into another 
administration ; and the validity of such an ap- 
pointment made before there was any law in force 
to authorize it might have been contested. 

The Legislature directed an election for a 
convention, to meet in Ann Arbor, on the 4th 
Monday of September. It became plain to every 
one before the election day arrived, that the 
members of this convention would reject the con- 
ditions. The convention refused to consent to 
purchasing admission on those terms. 

An attempt was now made to unite the Dem- 
ocratic party, in favor of accepting the conditions, 
with the view of taking such measures as might 
then be ventured on. The Washino^ton corres- 



pendents figured up the share which Michigan 
would have in the dividends of surphis revenue, 
and the five per cent, on the proceeds of pubh'c 
lands, as amounting in all to more than $450,000, 
all of which — the President found occasion to 
intimate — would be lost to Michioran if not 
admitted on the first of January, 1837. — (This 
like most other solemn extra-official utterances 
of men in authority, was not correct.) Presiden- 
tial electors were to be chosen in November, 
under an act of the State Legislature ; and their 
election also would be futile without admission. 
And last — though not least — various gentlemen 
willing to bear official responsibilities would be 
disappointed. As the anonymous Washington 
assurances concerning the financial loss by delay 
appear to have been regarded as of doubtful 
origin, an official letter was drawn from Mr. 
Woodbury, Secretary of the Treasury, stating 
that the money could not be paid to Michigan 
before her admission, but not making the first 
of January or any other day the limit. Informa- 
tion was also obtained from Mr. Schoolcraft, 
indicating the value of the I'pper Peninsula. 

On the 29th of October, 1836, a Democratic 
convention of Wayne County expressed a desire 
for another convention, and this was followed by 
a similar meeting in Washtenaw. The Governor, 
in reply to a request, stated there was no time 
for an extra session of the Legislature, and said 
he had no authority to call a convention ; but he 


referred to the revolutionary proceedings in riie 
early history of the United States as quite irregu- 
lar, and intimated that a popular convention mio-ht 
be recognized at Washington. Thereupon, in 
pursuance of the Wayne County action, David C. 
McKinstry, Ross Wilkins, Marshal J. Bacon, John 
McDonell, and Charles W. Whipple, called a con- 
vention to be held at Ann Arbor on the 14th of 
December, and recommended that their action be 
ratified by the next Legislature. Elections were 
held, from which many of the people absented 
themselves because not lawfully held, and the con- 
vention met, (familiarly known as the " Frost-bitten 
Convention") made up entirely of delegates favor: 
able to admission. They at once, and without 
ceremony, gave their assent to the conditions, and 
forwarded their action to Washington. The 
President laid the case before Congress, and it 
gave rise to much debate. The validity of the 
convention was denied, and the matter was con- 
siderably delayed. There was a general disposi- 
tion to admit the State, but not to recognize the 
irregular action ; and a preamble reciting consent 
to have been given was strenuously objected to. 
The bill was finally passed, with a preamble which 
recited that consent had been given by a con- 
vention of delegates, '' elected by the people of 
the State for the sole purpose of giving their 
assent;" and Michigan was admitted on the 26th 
of January, 1837. 

478 ACQUIESCENCE. [Chap. XIV, . 

It would be very difficult to maintain the 
legality of this convention, on any principle which 
would not lead to the subversion of all constitu- 
tional government But Congress acted upon it; 
and the question was one political and not judi- 
cial, on which their action was final. It is 
probable, also, that in the view that no better 
terms were likely to be made for some years, if 
at all, the measure would, upon a second sub- 
mission, have been ratified by a large majority of 
the people. When the struggle was over, the 
result was acquiesced in ; and the best was made 
of what was deemed a bad bargain. An attempt 
to have the electoral vote of Michigan declared 
valid failed. All that could be done for it was 
to ,allow the fact to appear that it had been cast 
for Mr. Van Buren. This was permitted on the 
ground that it would not change the result ; 
and its regularity was left open. Colonel Richard 
M. Johnson was elected Vice President by the 
Senate, for lack of an electoral majority. This 
election took place after the State was admitted ; 
and the Senators, Mr. Norvell and Mr. Lyon, 
had the opportunity of giving him their votes. 

The State was recognized, when admitted, as 
having existed as such since November, 1835, when 
the Senators and Representatives, Governor and 
Legislature, came into office ; and such has been 
the uniform ruling of all departments. The last 
act of the Territorial Judges, on the first day of 
July, 1836, — three days before the Territory of 


Michigan lost its remaining jurisdiction by the or- 
ganization of Wisconsin, — was in their capacity as 
a land board. They conveyed a lot of land in 
Detroit to the Detroit Young Men's Society, — a 
corporation created by the State some months 
before. This deed was held valid, on the ground 
that the Territory survived until July 4th, although 
a part of its domain had been severed and trans- 
formed into a State. 

Henceforth the affairs of Michigan were within 
her own control. The motto of the Territory had 
been Tandem fit Stir cuius arbor (the sprout at 
length becomes a tree.) This simple and grace- 
ful sentiment, with the device expressing it, looked 
at the future and was now accomplished. The 
conglomeration of mottoes and devices on the 
State seal, which remind one of the character in 
Shakspeare who had been at a feast of languages 
and stolen the scraps, is devoid enough of mean- 
ing to give a wide range to the imagination. 
But, in spite of its heraldic confusion, the State 
has suffered no damage from it ; and her great 
seal, though not attractive as a work of art, can 
certify a very honorable history. 



The new State had, at the time of its admis- 
sion, become fairly settled down to the manage- 
ment of home affairs. The Supreme Court was 
organized by the appointment of William A. 
Fletcher as chief justice, and George Morell and 
Epaphroditus Ransom associate justices. Chief 
Justice Fletcher had previously been selected to 
codify and digest the statutes, and was busy with 
his work. A court of chancery was created, and 
Elon Farnsworth was appointed chancellor. This 
court, under his presidency, acquired an enviable 
reputation for the justice and soundness of its 
decisions, and his opinions are plain and lucid 
statements of correct principles. He was suc- 
ceeded, on his resignation in 1842, by Randolph 
Manning, who was also an able chancellor, and 
filled with credit several political as well as legal 
offices, dying in August, 1864, while holding 
the position of judge of the Supreme Court. The 
Court of Chancery was abolished by the Revised 
Statutes of 1846, and the jurisdiction vested in the 
circuit courts. 

Chai'. XV. J UNIVERSITY. 481 

John D. P^ierce of Marshall was the hrst Super- 
intendent of Public Instruction. He was very 
active in preparing- the general scheme of educa- 
tion by means of primary schools, and the Univer- 
sity and its branches. The University was es- 
tablished at x^nn Arbor. Its board of re<rents 
consisted of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, 
Chancellor, and Judges of the Supreme Court, as 
ex-officio members, and twelve regents appointed 
by the Governor and Senate. The University 
was ultimately to contain not only a literary 
department, but colleges of medicine and law. 
Branches of the University were established in 
various places as preparatory academies. These 
were at Detroit, Pontiac. Tecumseh, Niles, Kala- 
mazoo, Monroe and White Pigeon. The branches 
were first established, and in 1841 the hrst class 
was opened in the University at Ann Arbor, the 
first graduates leaving the college in 1845. The 
medical college was opened in 1848, and the law 
department in 1859. 

The University and school lands previously 
set apart by the United States for I'niversity and 
school purposes were transferred in fee to the 
State, to dispose of them as might seem proper, 
and preserve the funds inviolate. The new 
organization, being identical with the old, obtained 
title to such property as had been directly vested 
in that corporation, — including buildings and lands 
in Detroit, and various other property. The 
Superintendent of Public Instruction was put in 

482 SCHOOLS. [Chap. XV. 

charge of all the trust lands and funds, and 
retained their management until they were sub- 
sequently transferred to the State Land Office. 

The Governor's message, in 1837, dwelt upon 
the necessity of a full system of education, and 
advocated what was also desired by Mr. Pierce, 
the ultimate completion of a uniform system, 
whereby any child could be educated completely, 
from the earliest rudiments through all the 
branches of useful and elegant knowledge. This 
he urged as necessary to secure political and 
civil equality. Although it took many years to 
reach the desired end, it has been reached, and 
in most of our towns the schools carry up their 
pupils as far as they choose to go, and prepare 
them, if they desire it, for pursuing their scholas- 
tic work in the University, or elsewhere. Until 
union and high schools were established, the 
branches of the University had been the only 
public academies under State authority. Now 
there are not only multitudes of them, but they 
are very generally free schools throughout. The 
branches were not kept up very many years. 
They received female scholars as well as male. 

In addition to school lands, the United States 
at various times gave to the State, for its own 
purposes, lands for State buildings, salt springs, 
and large grants to aid in public improvements. 
Five per cent, of the proceeds of government 
land sales was also given for internal improve- 
ments. Five hundred thousand acres of internal 


improvement lands were asked for and siibse- 
quendy granted. Michigan also became entitled 
to a share of the surplus revenue of the United 
States. These large possessions were anticipated, 
and the hope of receiving them had, as already 
seen, been one of the inducements to submit to 
the unpleasant conditions imposed by Congress. 

The Legislature of 1836, looking forward to 
these accessions, had meditated on the magnificent 
possibilities, and had, among other things, author- 
ized the Governor to invite proposals from every 
rail road company in the State for the transfer 
of their roads and franchises. The charters were 
numerous, but not very much had been done in 
road-building. In 1837, as soon as admission 
became certain, the young State launched out, 
like an heir just emancipated, into the most 
lavish display of her new freedom, and fancied 

Although these times are not very remote, the 
present generation cannot perhaps, quite compre- 
hend how people felt. There was as yet, no 
railwav communication with the east. From 
Albany to Schenectady and Utica, the road was 
built very gradually. West of Utica the travel 
was by stage or canal-boat. The Lake Erie 
steamboats were the finest and largest boats in 
America, and conveyed travellers with speed and 
comfort. From Detroit to Chicago there was no 
convenient land-passage, and all went by the 
lakes. From Chicago westward there were no 



railroads, and no travelling facilities beyond 
natural roads. It was more than fifteen years 
before any railroad crossed Canada. Telegraphs 
were not put in use for many years. There 
were no plank or gravel roads, and the best 
turnpikes were almost impassable for several 
months in each year. 

The railroads themselves were imperfect, and 
their ultimate perfection was not foreseen. Their 
passenger cars were small vehicles, holding no 
more than from eighteen to twenty-four passen- 
gers, and not much, if any, heavier than the 
large stage-coaches. The iron was flat bar-iron, 
from half to three-fourths of an inch thick, spiked 
on wooden sleepers which were lightly tied, and 
on tracks not perfectly graded or heavily ballasted. 
The locomotives weighed from two to six or 
seven tons, and drew corresponding loads. 
Great weight and high speed would have de- 
stroyed the tracks. One of the dangers of 
travel was from '' snake-heads," caused by the 
loosening of the ends of the thin rails, which, 
bending up, were caught between the wheels, and 
driven through the bottom of the car, wounding 
or impaling any one who sat over the point of 
entrance. Instead of grading up or down steep 
declivities, cars were passed over the incline by 
counter weights of box-cars, loaded with stone, 
which balanced them like window weights, and 
made it easy to pass one up as the other went 
down. As there were no long railways, there was 

Chap. XV.] RAILROADS. 485 

no freighting unless of light articles, except for 
short distances. In a level country well supplied 
with wood, the cost of building and ironing a 
railroad was very trifling, and its rolling stock 
was also cheap and scanty. The original capital 
stock of the Detroit and St. Joseph Railroad 
Company, (the corporation which began the 
Michigan Central Railroad) was a million and 
a half of dollars. The entire cost of buildino- and 
stocking the Central Railroad to Marshall, was 
reckoned in 1846 as having been two millions 
of dollars. In private hands it would probably 
have been less ; and the capital stock of $1,500,000, 
aided by the earnings, properly managed, would 
have been adequate according to the plans first 
devised, to build the road ; although the subse- 
quent improvements in track and stock would 
have made new arrangements necessary, if the 
road had been built as slowly as was then 
customary. Twenty miles a year was in those 
days rapid railroad building. 

It is not strange that with the experience of 
such a rapid growth, the people of Michigan were 
very sanguine. The times were what judge 
Baldwin very apdy named them, " flush times," 
when money was turned out as fast as engravers 
could make it, and nearly every, good engraving 
passed current somewhere. Property was bought 
and sold at fabulous prices. Land which could 
be purchased by any one at government price 
for a dollar and a quarter an acre, would sell as 


town lots on an engraved village or city plat, for 
fifty times that price, with no reason in the 
world for the advance. 

The idea seemed current that the mere activ- 
ity of immigration, and the enthusiastic visions of 
the immigrants, actually created wealth. Usually a 
large population means prosperity, because it has 
grown up slowly, and improved the country and 
accumulated savings for many years. But when 
population from a mere handful grows up in ten 
years to five or six times its original number, 
there have been no savings ; and there is no pro- 
gress beyond beginnings, where the outlay usually 
exceeds the income. Of the settlers who came to 
Michigan, most were of that intelligent and enter- 
prising class that advance the material interest of 
a region as fast as they can, and in the end 
build up strong communities. But they were also 
usuallv of the class whose wealth is in the future 
and not in possession, and who do more borrow- 
ing than lending. They were also very hopeful, 
and selected their homes and lands with sagacity, 
so far as fertility of soil and fitness for farming, 
lumbering and milling, were concerned. But they 
very often reckoned wildly, by overlooking difficul- 
ties of access. The garden of Eden would not 
pay for raising articles which could not be 
marketed, and the completest mill or factory that 
ever was built could not flourish without customers. 

It was fortunate that the enterprising settlers 
had correct notions concerning education. There 


never was in any country a more liberal and en- 
lightened view of the value of g-enerous culture. 
The early founders of Michigan were not only in- 
telligent, but many of them were highly cultivated 
and intellectual ; and through good and evil 
fortunes, while they lost wealth and suffered pri- 
vations, they adhered with dogged tenacity to the 
system of schools, which had been planned liber- 
ally, and has been the safeguard and glory of the 
State. As prosperity has increased it has fallen 
upon men who generally have known its relative 
value, and there are few towns in the common- 
wealth whose schools are not fully up in complete- 
ness to the means of the people. 

The first State legislation was chiefly directed 
to the development of the resources of the country. 
Roads were laid out in every direction, and placed 
under local supervision, so that the people most 
nearly interested might have means of preventing 
neglect and dishonesty. Railroads were chartered 
whenever asked for. The University and school 
lands were put in market on long time. The 
State prepared as soon as possible to enter upon 
a general system of internal improvement, where- 
by all parts of its jurisdiction would be made 
readily accessible, and be brought within easy 
reach of markets and business facilities. 

One of the first and best schemes devised to 
further the development of the State resources, 
was the organization of a complete geological 
survey. In February, 1837, an act was passed 


for the appointment of a State Geologist to con- 
duct such a survey, and annual sums, increasing 
from $3,000 the first year to |,i 2,000 the fourth, 
were appropriated. Doctor Douglass Houghton 
was selected to fill the office. He was already 
known throughout the State for his thorough 
qualities as a sagacious and close observer, a 
laborious and patient student, and a man of 
integrity, whose love ot science, and devotion to 
its interests, had not impaired his cool-headed 
shrewdness and habits of business. Short as was 
the remainder ot his useful life, the best observa- 
tions and discoveries in the fields which he tra- 
versed have proved his accuracy and judgment, 
.and have shown no course safer than to follow 
his suggestions. Within the first year his views 
had become so favorably accepted that, in 1838, 
the survey was re-organized on a larger basis. 
Three principal assistants were required to be 
appointed by the Governor, on his nomination, to 
wit, a zoologist, a botanist and a topographer ; 
and four minor assistants to be nominated by the 
Governor on the nomination of their chiefs, — two 
for- the zoologist, one for the geologist, and one 
for the botanist. Twelve thousand dollars a year 
was appropriated for the service. Maps, reports, 
and specimens were to be furnished to the State, 
and as far as possible to the University. Dr. 
Abram Sager was appointed zoologist, Dr. John 
Wright botanist, and Sylvester W. Higgins topo- 
grapher. Bela Hubbard and Columbus C. Doug- 



lass acted as assistant geologists, and Mr. George 
H. Bull assistant botanist. vSeveral important 
reports and conside ■'^^~\^ collections were made, 
and valuable maps and drawings were prepp.recl 
and some of them engraved. The general finan- 
cial depression prevented any extensive work 
after 1841, and in the careless management of 
some of the State property, after Dr. Houghton's 
death, all of his engravings, which were numerous 
and very beautiful, and many of his collections 
which had been left in the State offices before 
their removal to Lansing, disappeared. Dr. 
Houcrhton had before his death secured the ser- 
vices of Mr. Beneworth, a wood-engraver, whose 
marvellous skill had obtained him honorable tes- 
timonials in Holland, Sweden and Germany, and 
who executed some of those minute g^ems of 
engraving which beautify Harper's Bible. This 
artist had become desirous of seeing the New 
World, and was disposed to set out for the un- 
defined western regions of which he had very 
vague notions, when Dr. Houghton found him in 
New York, and being mutually interested, he was 
induced to enter upon the work of engraving the 
illustrations which would be needed for the final 
report. The blocks were engraved and left with 
uncut margins to prevent abrasion, and in this 
condition deposited for safe keeping with one of 
the State officers. Besides these, Mr. Higgins 
had drawn carefully, on stone, a large number of 
fossils and other specimens, and several maps 

490 BANKING. [Chap. XV. 

were enorraved. All have been lost. Their mon- 
ey value was not less than many thousand 
dollars. Their artistic as well as scientific value 
cannot be reckoned. 

Another scheme for the development of re- 
sources was unlimited banking. To this the 
Governor was not favorable, unless upon careful 
security. But the ideas of banking were very 
ill-adapted to such times. It has hardly become 
an exact science yet, but those times furnished 
some valuable, though costly experience. At that 
era the nation was out of debt, and all the State 
debts combined were less than some ambitious 
cities now pile up in a twelvemonth. Banking 
on stock security was unheard of. But banking- 
had thus far been reasonably well conducted 
generally. The favorite New York system then 
was the " safety fund," by which each bank subject 
to it contributed a small percentage of its capital 
to a general fund, which was relied on to make 
up such deficiencies as might arise when single 
corporations were wound up. Large insolvencies 
with no assets were not imaginable. In 1836, 
the Michigan Legislature provided for a fund to 
be made up of three per cent, on the capital of 
every bank, payable in annual portions of one- 
half of one per cent. Many banks were chartered, 
and some of them came under this rule. But in 
the large dealings with which this freely issued 
paper had made men familiar, it was thought there 
was not currency enough afloat, and specie was 


rarely seen. One motive for forming new banks 
was the desire to secure a share of the govern- 
ment deposits, as well as the surplus revenue, 
which had also been sometimes deposited by the 
States, to be ready if required to be refunded, 
this being one of the conditions of the distribution. 
In 1837, a general banking law was passed, which 
was supposed to contain better securities than any 
other similar scheme, and included the safety fund 
plan in addition. Any persons residing in a county 
of the State, (including among them at least twelve 
free-holders,) could organize banks of from $50,000 
to $300,000 capital, and care was taken that at 
least one-third of the stock should always belong 
to county residents, in good faith and for their 
own use ; and on executing the preliminaries and 
paying in ^o per cent, in specie, they could pro- 
ceed to business. Ten per cent, was payable on 
the stock every six months, until all the capital 
was paid in. Before beginning banking business, 
bonds and mortgages, or the personal bonds of 
resident free-holders, satisfactory to the County 
Treasurer and County Clerk, were to be filed with 
the Auditor General, to the full amount of the 
circulation and indebtedness. Neither the circula- 
tion nor the loans and discounts were to exceed 
twice and a half the amount of the capital stock. 
A rigid system of bank examiners and examina- 
tions was provided, to prevent any banks, char- 
tered or general, from committing frauds. 


This statute was held invalid, because the Con- 
stitution prohibited any corporations which had not 
been approved by two-thirds of the Legislature. 
But many banks were organized. The county 
clerks and treasurers had as liberal ideas on the 
value of lands and the solvency of free-holders as 
could be desired ; and while in the older towns 
some of these institutions were carried on as pru- 
dently and honestly as any others, the general 
tendency of most of the smaller, and some of the 
larger, banks was towards reckless discounting 
and wild speculation. Competent cashiers and 
officers were rare. Men assumed to be bankers 
who had no business knowledge, and could hardly 
cast accounts. Many went into the business as 
an easy method of swindling. The Bank Com- 
missioners, who were compelled to travel without 
the facilities of railroads and telegraphs, discovered 
all manner of devices to deceive them as to assets. 
Base metals were packed in coin boxes, and cov- 
ered over with thin spreadings of coin ; and some- 
times the same coin was kept in transit from bank 
to bank through by-ways in advance of the Com- 
missioners, until its familiar appearance, or a re- 
trograde visitation, exposed the trick. Few and 
evil were the days of this banking, and the history 
of the system of wildcat banks would be humili- 
ating but perhaps profitable reading now ; although 
the sharpers and rascals of 1876 are undoubtedly 
more adept in knavery than their ruder predeces- 
sors, and would not be proud of such small 


swindling. The crash came as soon as the general 
business panic began to spread through the Union ; 
and within five years after the State was formed, 
the financial ruin of its people was complete. 
The best improved property in the best towns 
shrunk to less than half, and sometimes less than 
a fourth, of its previously estimated value, while 
unimproved property not paid for bankrupted its 
luckless mortgagor, and if paid for was often too 
burdensome to support its quota of taxes. 

But young States, like children, do not always 
look beyond the year, and Michigan was no more 
prudent than others. It allowed the school funds 
to be lent out to private borrowers as well as to 
banks and corporations, and made loans of its 
owm bonds and money to various railroads and 
other schemes. Railroad mortgages of the mod- 
ern kind w^ere then unknown, and those early 
loans would be regarded if made now, as safer 
than the majority of advances made in these 
days on such securities. They were generally 
secured by private mortgages or guarantees, and 
they were all on promising roads as first encum- 
brances. Yet in most cases the State lost a large 
percentage. The surplus revenue was lent to 
banks on deposit, and most of this was repaid or 
collected ultimatelv, but some of it after lone 
waiting. Bounties were offered, and some loans 
made, to encourao^e, among; other thincrs, the man- 
ufacture of beet-sugar. This speculation failed, 
but the State met no serious injury. 


The bounties and loans to encourage new 
branches of industry were not extravagant, and 
were probably well invested, even where the 
object did not succeed. Attention was drawn to 
the difficulty as well as to the supposed merits 
of the schemes, and it is a matter of congratula- 
tion, partly due to this, that few large enterprises 
have ever been abandoned as impracticable. The 
early experiments prevented heavier subsequent 
losses. Among other things, tried on a small 
scale and abandoned, was silk-raising. There was 
at one time an epidemic mania for raising the 
niorus multicatdis, (a mulberry adapted to the 
silk-worm,) and this State, while somewhat excited, 
was not much hurt by it. A gift of ^3,000, in 
1837, to the Reverend Martin Kundig, was an 
investment more hopeful. It was given to that 
excellent man in recognition of his faithful and 
unwearied labors and outlays during the cholera 
visitation. While it is the solitary private reward 
or pension found in our history for philanthropic 
services, it was creditable to giver and receiver. 
Mr. Kundig is remembered by the older inhabit- 
ants of Detroit as one of the few persons who 
ever made a poor-house a charming place of 
resort for visitors, entertained only by his pleas- 
ant conversation and the sight of his well-kept 
gardens ; and who, with strict economy, secured 
to his unfortunate wards comfort and self-respect. 
The necessity of internal communication led to 
a measure which for many years kept down the 


credit of the State, and crippled its resources, 
thereby driving away some of its own citizens, 
and effectually preventing the growth of its popu- 
lation by increase from abroad. 

In addition to some smaller debts, it was de- 
termined to borrow five millions of dollars, to ex- 
pend in various public works. It was expected 
that by the aid of this sum, and such other dona- 
tions as might be received from the United States, 
three trunk railroads could be built across the 
State, two canals made, several rivers improved 
so as to be navigable, some small railroads 
finished, and a ship-canal opened round the Falls 
of the St. Mary's River. 

A Board of Commissioners of Internal Improve- 
ment had already been appointed. On the 20th 
of March, 1837, this Board was directed to survey 
three railroad routes across the peninsula. The 
first was the Michio^an Central, from Detroit to 
the mouth of the St. Joseph River in Berrien 
County. The second was the Southern, to run 
from the mouth of the River Raisin, through 
Monroe, to New Buffalo. The third was the 
Northern, to run from Palmer or Port Huron to 
Grand Rapids or Grand Haven. A purchase was 
to be made of the Detroit and St. Joseph Rail- 
road, which had gone partly through Washtenaw 
County. Five hundred and fifty thousand dollars 
was appropriated to these roads at once, four 
hundred thousand for the Central, one hundred 
thousand for the Southern, (both of which included 


private railroads to be purchased,) and fifty thou- 
sand for the Northern road. Twenty thousand 
dollars was appropriated for surveys of a canal, 
or combined canal and railway, from Mt. Clemens 
to the mouth of the Kalamazoo River, a canal 
from Saginaw River to Maple or Grand River, 
and river surveys on the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo 
and Grand Rivers, for slackwater navigation. 
Seventy-five thousand dollars more was to be ex- 
pended on some of these and other works. 

Of these works it may be enough to say that 
the Michigan Central was pushed by degrees as 
far as Marshall, and built in good part from its 
earnings, and the Southern was also extended 
into Hillsdale County. Both of these were sold 
in 1846, and the purchase extinguished a large 
proportion of the State debt. The Northern Road 
was graded beyond Lapeer, and its bed was con- 
verted into a wagon-road, at the expense of a 
large amount of internal improvement lands, which 
paid a great price for a very little work. The 
Clinton Canal was completed a few miles, and 
rented for water power. Very little, if anything, 
came of the other schemes. 

On the 2ist of March, 1837, a law was passed 
authorizing the Governor to negotiate for a loan 
of fiv^ millions of dollars, at not more than five 
and a half per cent, interest, and redeemable after 
twenty-five years. At first it was required to be 
payable in the United vStates, but afterwards 
allowed to bear six per cent., and be made pay- 



able in Europe, in pounds sterling at four dollars 
and forty-four cents, or in Holland guilders at 
forty cents. 

The Cashier of the Michigan State Bank (at 
this time John Norton, Jr.) was Fiscal Agent of 
the State, having no large discretionary powers, 
but keeping the State deposits in his bank. At 
this time demand exchange on New York was 
purchased by the banks in large sums at six per 
cent, premium, and sold at much higher rates, — 
from ten per cent, upward in some cases. Eastern 
bills had a fictitious reputation, and were re- 
garded — orood and bad alike — as better than home 
currency. Why this estimate was put on them 
w^as not manifest except that persons sometimes 
bought them as cheaper than exchange, to use in 
eastern purchases. Michigan money was of differ- 
ent values. City money was at par, — country 
money in a few cases was at a slight discount, but 
usually at a considerable one. A difference was 
made between '* chartered" banks and ordinary 
"safety fund" which were chiefly "wild-cat," although 
the difference was purely imaginary, or quite as 
often as not in favor of the wild-cats. No worse 
frauds were ever detected in banking than among 
several of the chartered banks. 

In this condition of affairs, the credit of the 
State was hrst tried in the money market, on 
what was then a reasonably large scale. There 
is no doubt Michigan bonds could have been 
placed in Europe, and probably in the United 


States, by proper management. If they had been 
honestly dealt with, the State would probably have 
had no serious trouble. But Governor Mason, 
who was personally honest himself, was a novice 
in finance, and he fell into the hands of the 

By some unfortunate mischance he was induced 
to select the Morris Canal and Banking Company 
, of New Jersey to aid him in negotiating the bonds. 
How this was brought about has not been made 
public. He was unquestionably misled by his own 
inexperience into accepting strange counsels. He 
made more than one agreement, and each one was 
worse than the last. On the first day of June, 
1838, an agreement was made substantially as fol- 
lows, except that some of its provisions are am- 
biguous and not very intelligible. The Governor 
agreed to make the Morris Canal and Banking 
Company agents irrevocable, to negotiate the 
^5,000,000 loan, and ^200,000 of other bonds after- 
wards authorized for special purposes. The bonds 
were to be sold in Europe or America, at such 
times and in such quantities as- the agents deter- 
mined, for which sales they were to have two and 
a half per cent, commission, and in addition half 
of any premiums received, up to five per cent., 
and all beyond that ; and were to bear all expen- 
ses, and guarantee that the proceeds deposited in 
New York, added to their commission, should not 
be less than their par value. They were also to 
pay the amount of the bonds, less their commis- 


sions, in instalments, whether sold or not, but 
were always entitled to have in hand a million of 
bonds in excess of payments already advanced, if 
so much remained undisposed of. They were also 
at liberty, if they chose, on thirty days' notice, to 
take and pay for the bonds at par, less their 
commissions. The contract as to the time when 
in that case they should pay for them is very blind. 
$1,300,000 of the bonds were delivered over at 
once, and they were to pay for these $250,000 in 
cash, and $1,050,000 when called for, on order, less 
their commissions. The remainder of the entire 
loan was payable in quarterly instalments of 
$250,000 each, (or a million a year,) beginning 
July 1st, 1839, thus giving them about five years 
in all to close up the matter. A difficulty after- 
wards arose concerning the interest account, on 
which the contract is silent. 

On the fourth of June, 1838, — (three days 
after the contract,) — Governor Mason, without 
any legal authority, made a further arrangement. 
The $1,300,000, instead of being paid in cash, he 
allowed to be put to his credit on the books of 
the Company, as a payment in full, and agreed 
to take the whole of it in the bank bills of the 
Company, and disburse them for State purposes, 
— receiving $250,000 on the first of August, and 
$100,000 a month thereafter. This gave the bank 
the benefit of a distant circulation for over a mil- 
lion and a quarter of bills, and the interest in ad- 
dition on this whole sum for an average of about 


six months. On the 14th of July, Mr. Norton, the 
Fiscal Agent, in equal absence of authority, made 
a still further arrangement. Instead of paying over 
their bills, they were to accept drafts for the same 
amounts, payable ninety days after each of these 
instalments of bills was to have been furnished ; 
and these ninety day drafts were taken as cash. 
As this transaction was between bankers of ex- 
perience, it needs no comment. It gave them 
directly ninety-three days of additional interest on 
the whole $1,300,000. 

The next phase in this transaction was during 
the same year, in November, when the whole 
bonds were turned over to these honest agents, 
upon the sole corporate obligation of the Morris 
Canal and Banking Company, to pay one-fourth 
of the instalments originally provided for, and 
that of the United States Bank, (which was no 
longer a National bank, but a State corporation 
of the same name,) for the other three-fourths, — 
keeping a proper interest account. In this way 
the whole amount of the bonds got into the hands 
of the agents, without any security whatever. The 
Morris Canal Company made default in the pay- 
ments early in 1840. The State Treasurer, Robert 
Stuart, found that they had got rid of their share 
of the bonds in some way, and was glad to get 
securities for about two-thirds of their proportion 
of the unpaid and future instalments, but was hope- 
ful that they would be able to pay in full, with 
some delay. They were allowed an extension of 


four years, until January, 1844, but long before 
this they failed entirely. Their assets given as 
security were of a strangely miscellaneous charac- 
ter, and showed a very reckless course of banking. 

Specie payments were now generally suspended, 
and the State found difficulty in raising money for 
its current expenses. The United States Bank 
also made default in a part of the April instal- 
ment in 1840. The Treasurer managed to get 
more or less money out of this bank that year, 
and the delay of that corporation was also re- 
garded as temporary. In April, 1841, an issue of 
State scrip was provided for, in the form of bank- 
bills, and receivable for State dues, to anticipate 
the next four instalments coming from the loan. 
But they never came. The scrip depreciated con- 
siderably, but, being receivable for taxes, was 
about the only available currency to be had ; and 
salaries and all other general liabilities were paid 
in it, and accepted as the only thing to be ob- 
tained. The ^Treasurer endeavored to get back 
the bonds for which nothing had been received, 
but they had been hypothecated by the failing 
banks and were beyond reach. As they were all 
where the equities still bound them, their further 
negotiation was checked by proper notices. The 
State arranged to pay on each what had been 
advanced upon it, and in the subsequent sale of 
the railroads thes/^ part paid bonds were received 
— remitting most of the damages to which the 
State was entitled by reason of the protest and 


default, and the accounts were substantially closed. 
The loss to the State In interest caused by the 
peculiar arrangements made after the first con- 
tract, even if there had been no default, was 
f I 21,881.88 without reckoning the retention of the 
whole 2i/< per cent, commissions in advance. 
The damage by reason of losses in work sus- 
pended, and improvements rendered valueless, is 
not to be estimated. It brought the State to the 
verge of ruin, and its evil consequences lasted for 
many years. 

It became necessary to pay internal improve- 
ment expenses with a different sort of paper from 
State scrip. Parties contracted to receive their 
pay in internal improvement warrants, payable in 
land, and not in money. Land being then a drug, 
and not in demand, these warrants ran down to 
forty cents on the dollar, and the contract prices 
were fixed accordingly. This soon deprived the 
State of many of the best lands, at a great sacri- 
fice. No further labor was done Except on such 
works as were of immediate necessity and useful- 
ness, and the unfinished works were for the most 
part permanently abandoned, and their cost entire- 
ly wasted. 

But the construction of one of the most im- 
portant works for the development of the country 
was prevented by a very gross outrage. One of 
the first measures of internal improvement adopted 
was the construction of a ship canal round the 
Falls of the St. Mary's River. An appropriation 


was made, in March, 1837, ^^r the survey and 
commencement of the work, as soon as the Board 
of Internal Improvement approved the plans. 
Surveys and plans were made, and publicly known, 
and contracts were entered into in accordance with 
them, and the contractors proceeded to purchase 
materials and make all their preparations in the 
latter part of 1838 and beginning of 1839, ^^ go 
on with their work on the opening of navigation. 
The State made them an advance in the early 
spring. On the 9th of May, they arrived on the 
ground, and, as they were preparing to proceed, 
they were served by a subaltern assistant quarter 
master of the United States with a letter of the 
War Department, addressed to himself, whereby 
it was directed that no interference must be al- 
lowed with the improvements made by the United 
vStates at that post, " among which the mill-race 
is regarded as one of the greatest importance ;" 
and he was notified to " apprise the contractor 
that he cannot be allowed, in the execution of his 
contract, to interfere, in any way, with that work." 
Accordingly the officer, on the day of serving 
this letter, gave the contractor notice that it would 
be his duty " to interfere with any work on the 
projected canal, that might injure the United 
States mill-race near that post." This notice was 
served on the j 2th of May. The letter was dated 
on the 6th of March, 1839, more than two months 
before, and was an answer to one received b}^ the 
War Department, written by this same officer in 


January, 1839, containing information how the 
canal was laid out and to be constructed. No 
communication was made during this interval to 
the State of Michigan, nor to any one else. This 
mill-race, as shown to the Legislative Committee, 
was not on any ground that had been set apart 
as a military reserve, but the Town of Sault Ste. 
Marie intervened between the mill-race and the 
fort, which was a long way off. The mill is said 
by the committee who examined into the matter 
to have been dilapidated and useless, and General 
Whiting, the chief quarter master of this depart- 
ment, so stated. The State had not ceded juris- 
diction over any part of the land in question. 

The contractors informed the officer who 
notified them, '' that they were bound by the State 
of Michigan, to excavate the canal within the 
lines 'run and laid out by the chief engineer, and 
that they should proceed with the work, and 
could not allow water to flow through the race, 
where the canal crosses the same, as it would 
entirely frustrate the object that the State of 
Michigan had in view." The commanding officer 
at the fort. Captain Johnson, responded that, under 
his instructions, " the proposed work could not go 
on peaceably ;" and that he was bound to carry 
them out to their full extent. The contractors 
went upon the ground, nevertheless, and began 
work, when they were met, not by the mandate 
or injunction of the civil authority, but by. Captain 
Johnson in his military capacity at the head of a 

Chap. XV.J STATE PROTEST. ' 505 

company of soldiers. They had their implements 
taken from them by actual violence, and the party 
was driven off the ground at the point of the 

This unjustifiable outrage put an end to the 
work, and postponed the building of the canal 
nearly fifteen years. It was brought before the 
Legislature repeatedly by the State Executive, and 
in 1840, when it was first presented, with a very 
indignant message, by Governor Woodbridge, and 
the facts fully investigated and reported on by a 
committee, the Legislature, by a joint resolution, 
declared their opinion that the course of the gov- 
ernment authorities was " unwarranted by the 
Constitution of the United States, and a violation 
of the rights and sovereignty of the State of 
Michigan," and that as an act of justice, the gov- 
ernment was bound to repay the State its advan- 
ces and damages ; and directed that the State del- 
egation in Congress be requested to take proper 
action in the premises. In 1841, Governor Wood- 
bridge felt it his duty " again to ask the attention 
of the Legislature to the unauthorized and forcible 
interruption, by the troops of the United States, 
of the public works of the State, during the year 
before the last, at the Sault de Ste. Marie. The 
pecuniary loss to the State, resulting from that 
reprehensible interposition, remains unsatisfied, and 
the injury to its honor unatoned for." 

The bitter political contests which at this time 
absorbed the attention of the American people 


may have rendered diis affair less important in 
the sight of Congress than it was in fact. The 
use of mihtary force, as a substitute for civil re- 
medies, is intolerable in any country governed by 
law. The official insolence which paid no attention 
to notifying the State authorities, and gave them 
no opportunity to delay their appropriations, or 
deal with the matter in a legal way and obtain a 
removal of the difficulties, was offensive and dis- 
graceful. The damage to the State was very 
serious. The Upper Peninsula had been forced 
upon her acceptance, and the duty was at once as- 
sumed of providing for making it available. The 
explorations had already shown the immediate 
value of its fisheries, and the ultimate value of its 
great deposits of metal. The expense of trans- 
shipment caused by the land portage at the Sault, 
could not be borne without multiplying the cost of 
all work done in that region, and adequate ship- 
ping could not be built on Lake Superior without 
better means of getting there, and assurance of 
immediate remunerative employment. No large 
vessels have to this day been built there, and the 
first, and for many years the only, vessels of any 
magnitude that were used upon that lake, were 
carried across the portage by the expensive and 
perilous process of dragging them overland. 

The Reserve at the Sault, even within the 
limits which were adopted for military purposes, 
has been a source of trouble in the way of im- 
provements. The carelessness of our legislation, 


without proper investigation, not only in allowing 
government reserves to be created, for purposes 
where exclusive jurisdiction is entirely unnecessary 
for the uses of the United States, but in permit- 
ting them to be much larger than is necessary, is 
very much to be regretted. The propriety of 
giving the government exclusive jurisdiction over 
forts and navy-yards, and other similar places, 
where no one has any right to go except on 
public business, is evident enough. But places 
which it is not dangerous to the United States to 
leave open to access at all times, ought never to 
be removed from State jurisdiction. No difficulty 
ever arose from having courts, or custom houses, 
or post offices, or roads, or canals, continued on 
ground not subject to the exclusive jurisdictiction 
of Congress. The United States can lawfully 
legislate to punish interferences with any of its 
institutions or property, wherever they may be. 
But the consequences of exclusive jurisdiction are 
very serious. Residents may lose their rights of 
voting and citizenship, — they may cause difficulty 
in determining the validity of wills and contracts, 
in the rights of husband and wife in their per- 
sonal property, and in the laws of distribution, so 
that if different reserves in the same State are 
created at different times, there may be as many 
different codes of law applicable. Many crimes 
are punished differently by the United States and 
State laws, and some acts which are penal under 
one system are exempt from penalty under the 


Other. Instances have already arisen in more 
than one State exempHfying these evils. The 
dangers to public peace, where offences commit- 
ted on one side of a street are governed by dif- 
ferent laws from those committed across the way, 
or on adjacent lands, are not theoretical nor small. 
The disfranchisement of the Asylum in Ohio, and 
its results, exemplified what every one who has 
examined the subject has found strong reason to 
deprecate. There is no higher act of sovereignty 
than that which transfers sovereignty, and yet it 
is easier under our laws (assuming them to be 
valid) to cede away State jurisdiction, than to lay 
out a highway, and it is done with much less 
ceremony, and for purposes in no way requiring 
it. In 1855 the Legislature passed a joint resolu- 
tion, complaining of the needless extent of the 
reserves, and urging their correction ; but subse- 
quent legislation seems to have lost sight of this 

The general discontent with the management 
of the State finances led to political changes. 
The singular character of the loan negotiation, 
and its more singular sequels, led to serious 
charges against the integrity of the whole trans- 
action ; and the loss of some moneys never fully 
explained did not tend to remove the public dis- 
conient. The (lovernor incurred heavy censure 
for his imprudence and credulity. The charges 
of personal dishonesty were not generally accepted 
as just. When he died, in 1843, both houses of 



the Legislature passed resolutions of respect to 
his memory, and sympathy for his relatives, and 
In this they followed the general sentiment. His 
deficiencies were those of inexperience, and were 
not mean or selfish. His abilities were much 
beyond his years. 

Chief Justice Fletcher had been appointed in 
1836 to prepare a revised code of laws. It was 
expected that this would be merely a compiladon 
of exisdng statutes, with such changes as might be 
needed by the change of government. Instead of 
this he reported a volume of revised statutes, in 
the shape of a single act, divided and subdivided 
Into parts, ddes and chapters, and Introducing 
some novelties and much confusion. Among other 
unexpected changes he subsdtuted a board ot 
county commissioners for the board of supervisors, 
and omitted to do away with Imprisonment for 
debt, which he had been expressly required to do. 
The statutes were hasdly prepared, and, as usual 
when an entirely new arrangement Is adopted, 
they omitted many things, and were quite Imper- 
fect, abolishing most of the exisdng general laws, 
and not providing adequately for the matters they 
had regulated. This code Introduced no import- 
ant reforms In the law of property or of proced- 
ure, and had no influence In that direction. It 
was, however, well arranged, and perspicuous. In 
1839, the year after It took effect, a great many 
amendments were adopted to supply Its deficien- 
cies. One very important subject had been en- 


tirely left out. Although preparations had been 
made some years before for the erection of a 
penitentiary or State prison, and it had been lo- 
cated m 1837 and partly completed, the revised 
statutes did not attempt to regulate it. A non- 
imprisonment act was also passed in 1839, as well 
as laws giving power to the Court of Chancery to 
wind up insolvent corporations. In 1842, the board 
of supervisors was restored as before. The repeat- 
ed amendments had produced so much confusion 
that in March, 1844, provision was again made for 
the appointment of a commissioner to consolidate 
and revise the general laws. This duty was per- 
formed by Sanford M. Green, who has since 
filled the highest judicial offices in the State, and 
was reported to the Legislature in 1846. Judge 
Green had incorporated all the important amend- 
atory legislation, and introduced some valuable new 
features tending towards liberality. His work was 
somewhat mangled by the zeal of certain so-called 
reformers, whose impartial ignorance of law enabled 
them to proceed with a degree of confidence not 
usually shown by competent legislators. But in 
many particulars, and perhaps in most of the more 
important respects, his work furnished the greater 
part of the code as adopted, and has ever since 
remained as the groundwork of our legal system. 
The Constitution of 1850 prohibited any further 

The- removal of the Detroit garrison in 1826 
had been regarded as entirely safe, because there 

Chap. XV. I PATRIOT WAR 511 

was no likelihood of further complications with the 
Indians, and the relations with Great Britain were 
satisfactory. It had not then occurred to any one 
that there might be occasion to protect the fron- 
tier from lawless violations of neutrality. The 
United States Arsenal had been removed to 
Dearborn, so as to be less exposed. In 1837, ^he 
Canadian insurrection, known as the Patriot War, 
broke out, and for a time kept the lines in tur- 
moil. Secret lodges of sympathizers, under the 
name of Hunter's Lodges, held meetings in sev- 
eral of the lake cities. Durinp- the fall and winter 
of 1837-8, it became necessary to employ the mil- 
itary forces of the vState to prevent the seizure of 
the Arsenal, and to patrol the frontier, until they 
could be relieved by the regular army. The move- 
ments on the Detroit River were not at this time 
very important. The invading forces managed to 
get upon Fighting Island, where they remained 
until dislodged by artillery, without serious casu- 
alties beyond the occasion they gave for the des- 
truction of the fine forest on Bois-blanc Island. 
In 1838, after a temporary lull, and when nothing- 
was suspected, they crossed from Detroit to 
Windsor, where a steamboat was burned, and 
blood was shed on both sides. The leaders were 
captured, and several of them were banished. 

Some questions arising concerning the condi- 
tion of naturalized citizens, the Michigan Leofisla- 
ture, in 1839, memorialized Congress to have 
measures taken to secure international recognition 


of the right of expatriation and naturalization. 
This has been done within a few years, but has 
left the subject in painful uncertainty, without pro- 
viding adequately for furnishing evidence of a 
change of country, and apparently without having 
given any heed to the effect of such legislation on 
inheritances and escheats. Few subjects require 
more careful handling; and while, under modern 
practice, treason is not much considered in deter- 
mining the policy of shifting allegiance, the inter- 
ests of minors have been disregarded also ; and, 
without more careful action, the seeds have been 
sown for some of the most vexatious litigation. 
There are so many American children born or 
educated abroad, that their interests need special 
protection. It is not desirable, on grounds of un- 
iversal brotherhood, to destroy the sentiment ot 

In 1842, the first system of absolutely free 
education was authorized to be established in 
Detroit. Samuel Barstow and Dr. Zina Pitcher, 
and Douglass Houghton, were the most efficient 
movers in this matter, although sustained and 
aided by many worthy coadjutors. The schools 
were organized and advanced with much effort, 
until the removal of the Capital to Lansing en- 
abled the Board of Education to establish a union 
school in the building which had been vacated, 
and which never belonged to the State. The 
other towns in the State had been equally anxious 
to advance their schools, and did so as fast as 



possible. The superintendents of public instruc- 
tion were zealous and energetic, and John D. 
Pierce, the first in time and not second in en- 
lightened wisdom, has lived to see the system 
which he did so much to shape, carried out to 
completeness. He was followed by Franklin Saw- 
yer, who was afterwards selected to organize the 
schools of Louisiana. The superintendents who 
have succeeded them have been faithful and val- 
uable officers. The lands were early transferred 
to the keeping of the State Land Office, and 
the superintendents remitted to their more appro- 
priate functions. 

The collapse of the banking system, and the 
misfortunes attending the State management of 
internal improvement, led of necessity to a re- 
linquishment of the latter, and a return to a 
specie basis. In 1842, the State reached a point 
where there was nothing left but to begin over 
aeain. The State scrip was called in, the suspen- 
sion of specie payments rescinded, shinplasters 
prohibited, and economy introduced in all things — 
beginning notably with public printing, which was 
reduced to its narrowest compass, and included 
no documents not of permanent importance, — per- 
haps erring in this somewhat. A donation oi 
500,000 acres of lands for internal improvements 
was received from the United States, and aided 
more in saving past investments than in tuture 
expenditures. It has been doubted, however, 
whether, apart from the school and University 


funds, the State has, on the whole, been a great 
gainer by the donations of land received from 
the United States. In some places they have no 
doubt hastened improvements. But, justly or un- 
justly, there have been several periods when the 
integrity of the management of many of the 
schemes which have absorbed them has been very 
much doubted, and in some instances their dis- 
posal has been fraudulent in the extreme. 

In order to prevent any further extravagance, 
the Legislature of 1842 submitted, and the next 
Legislature and the people ratified, an amendment 
to the Constitution, requiring every law authoriz- 
ing the borrowing of money on State stocks to 
be confined to a single and specified object, for 
which alone it should be lawful to use the money, 
and to be approved by a popular vote at a 
general election. A judicious exception to this 
(which if continued under the Constitution of 1850 
would have saved much trouble) exempted from 
this necessity loans obtained to pay the actual 
executive, legislative, and judicial government ex- 
penses, and for suppressing insurrection, repelling 
invasion, and defending the State in war. 

In 1839, the election changed the political con- 
trol of the State, and placed it in the hands of 
the Whig party, William Woodbridge being 
Governor, and James Wright Gordon Lieutenant 
Governor. The Legislature had already been 
changed so far as to elect Augustus S. Porter as 
Senator, to succeed Lucius Lyon. The great 


popular uprising which, in 1840, elected William 
Henry Harrison to the Presidency, had secured 
him a large following in Michigan, where many of 
his old friends and admirers of the Democratic 
party as well as Whigs voted for him. His un- 
fortunate death, and the quarrels of Congress 
with his successor Mr. Tyler, produced a reaction, 
and John S. Barry, who assumed the Governor- 
ship in 1842, had a series of Democratic suc- 
cessors, until the organization of the Republican 
party in 1854, when Kinsley S. Bingham was 
chosen, and has been followed ever since by 
Republican Governors. Governor Woodbridge 
was elected Senator to succeed Mr. Norvell in 
1 841, by a coalition of Democrats with some 
members of the Whig party, who thus defeated 
Lieutenant Governor Gordon, the nominee of the 
party. Governor Woodbridge remained in the 
Senate during his full term of six years, after 
which he took no part in public affairs. 

Governor Barry was so prominent during the 
remainder of his career, that few men are better 
remembered among our State officials. He was 
more popular in his later than in his earlier in- 
cumbency, and never appeared very anxious to 
seek popularity. His political views were some- 
w^hat extreme, and at times he became very ob- 
noxious to his opponents on that ground : and 
many regarded his public economy as narrow and 
parsimonious. It is nevertheless no more than 
justice to his memory to vindicate him from this 


charge. He has on more than one occasion 
manifested the most Hberal views, where the 
pubhc good required HberaHty ; and it was due 
to the combined efforts of Governor Barry and 
Chancellor Farnsworth that the Insane Asylum at 
Kalamazoo was planned on a broad basis, instead 
of reduced to dimensions and surroundings which 
would have rendered it abortive. It is equally 
true, (as those who were familiar with his course 
while ex-officio presiding officer of the Board of 
Regents can testify,) that he was one of the best 
friends the University ever had, and that he never 
allowed political reasons to intrude where they 
did not belone. It never was the fortune of the 
writer to agree with Governor Barry in politics, 
but he cannot justly abstain from bearing testi- 
mony that he was not the mean man he has been 
sometimes supposed to be, and that the State and 
its institutions have derived lasting benefit from 
his rigid integrity and fidelity. When the resources 
of a State will permit liberal outlays for laudable 
purposes, parsimony may become reprehensible. 
But in Governor Barry's early official career, it 
required the utmost economy to preserve the 
public credit at all ; and there was no time while 
he was in office when it was not desirable. The 
recent experiences of municipal plundering and 
venality in various parts of the country, and the 
waste of public property to enable knaves to 
outshine their honest neighbors, have not indicated 
any serious danger that exactness in guarding the 


treasury is running to excess, or in need of 

At various times, from 1836 to 1842, treaties 
had been made with the Indians, whereby in the 
latter year the entire tribal titles had been extin- 
guished, except as to a few special reservations. 
The Indians in the Lower Peninsula were mostly 
removed west of the Mississippi. It had long been 
felt that it was unjust to prevent them from hav- 
ing opportunities of civilization, which could only 
be obtained by giving them property to be held 
individually, and not by communities. The L'Arbre 
Croche Indians, as long back as the Pontiac war, 
had been a well-behaved community, and had pros- 
pered by honest industry. In 1844, the Legislature 
requested the Michigan Senators and Representa- 
tives to endeavor to procure for them the position 
of American citizens. In 1847, ^^e privilege was 
asked that any Indians in the State might be al- 
lowed to pre-empt and retain such lands as they 
occupied and cultivated, on the same footing with 
others. It is not pleasant to notice that the per- 
sistent attempts of Michigan to secure to the ori- 
ginal holders of the soil a chance to become civ- 
ilized possessors of homes in the country of their 
fathers, have been thwarted. Although by the 
Constitution of 1850, the resident civilized Indians, 
who had separated from their tribes, were admitted 
to the privilege of voting, yet it was held by the 
United States Supreme Court, in United States v. 
Holliday\ (3 Wallace, 40,) that it was impossible 


for an Indian to withdraw from his tribal relations 
without the consent of the United States. As this 
must be accepted as law, it is time Congress 
changed it. While we assert the right of every- 
body else to go where he pleases, and to change 
his allegiance as often as he chooses, it seems 
that the guardianship of the government over 
these persons annihilates their free agency, and 
compels them to barbarism, no matter how much 
they may desire to escape it. This rule has a 
double action, which was very well exemplified in 
1840, in the partially successful efforts of the 
British agents at the Manitoulins to draw over 
Indian colonists into Canada. They proposed to 
include the Michigan half-breed settlers as Indians, 
in their distribution of presents. In a meeting of 
Indians and half-breeds, in May, 1840, on the 
Canada side of the Sault, Shingwauk, the head 
chief, referred to this as a part of the scheme of 
such a colony. Addressing the American Indians, 
he said : " Whether the thing you ask from the 
British government will be granted or not, we do 
not know, but if the half-breeds will consent to 
be under us as hidians. we hope it will be granted. 
This is what our fathers told us. The half-breeds 
on our side have nearly all consented." Where 
the mixed blood is in even quantities, it is not 
irrational for Indians as well as white men to 
claim its allegiance. 

A serious trouble arose in 1841, from the 
discovery that a considerable quantity of public 


lands put in market, including eighty-one townships 
lying mostly north and west of the Saginaw Bay, 
had never been surveyed, but had been platted 
and returned on fictitious surveys. This discovery 
was first suggested by the State Topographer, 
Mr. Higgins, who found, in protracting his State 
map, that the lakes and water courses in the region 
in question presented the appearance of a very 
symmetrical tree, with leaves and branches so 
very regular that it seemed unlikely the country 
could be truly represented. The Legislature, in 
1842, called the attention of the government to 
the fact, and to the fraud that would be thereby 
committed on purchasers whose lands were not 
to be found. 

In 1840 Indian names were given to twenty- 
nine of the northern counties in the Lower Pe- 
ninsula, many of which were names of distinguished 
chiefs, who had signed the treaties made at differ- 
ent times since the Revolution. In 1843, sixteen 
of these were re-named. In one case a Michigan 
Indian name was changed for a Florida chief's 
name, Osceola. Anamickee, or Thunder, the ap- 
propriate name for the county including Thunder 
Bay, (and the name of a chief,) was transmogri- 
fied into Alpena — perhaps a phonetic rendering 
of Alpina, if dime novels were then extant. Five 
were borrowed from Ireland, one from New York, 
one (Montmorency) might have been suggested 
from several quarters, and the remainder were of 
no special significance. Kishkauko, the patro- 


nymic of the head chief of Saginaw for over a 
century, was exchanged for Charlevoix — a very 
proper name, but one which might have been 
dropped elsewhere as well. The reason for this 
is not known. 

In 1844, ^^ important step was taken, by se- 
curing to married women their property (real and 
personal) free from the control of their husbands. 
This has since been fixed by the Constitution. 

The Legislature, for two or three successive 
years, expressed itself in favor of the annexation 
of Texas, and the assertion of the Oregon title 
up to fifty-four degrees and forty minutes of 
north latitude. That boundary was left unsettled 
by Mr. Webster in the Ashburton treaty of 1842, 
but compromised by Mr. Buchanan by the Treaty 
of 1846, in which it was brought down to the 
forty-ninth parallel. Unfortunately, the careless 
use of language created another ambiguity in the 
San Juan de Fuca boundary on the Pacific, which 
was recently decided in favor of the United States 
by the Emperor of Germany, after nearly thirty 
years' dispute. We have been singularly unfor- 
tunate in not getting our boundary treaties with 
Great Britain so as to make the lines definite 
and unambiguous. 

In 1846, the State disposed of the Central and 
Southern Railroads, and ceased to own any pub- 
lic works, (as she has since kept aloof from them,) 
and left the building of railroads to private en- 
terprise, which is much better adapted to their 


management than the agencies of a repubHcan 

In that year the Mexican war broke out. While 
there was much difference of opinion about the 
acquisition of Texas, there was none about the 
duty of Americans to maintain their country 
against the assaults of her enemies. The call 
for volunteers was readily responded to, and the 
Michigan soldiers, both volunteers and regulars, did 
no discredit to the State. Resolutions were 
adopted by the Legislature in 1847, asserting the 
right of the United States, and urging the ener- 
getic prosecution of the war ; expressing admira- 
tion for the conduct of the army on the Rio 
Grande and at Monterey ; d^P-laring it the duty 
of the nation to extend the free principles of the 
ordinance of 1787 over any territory which should 
be acquired, and voting money for the equipment 
of volunteers. 

About this time a considerable chancre was 
made in the judicial system. For three or four 
years a majority of the legal business of the 
State was required to be brought into county 
courts, with elected judges, paid at hrst by fees, 
and afterwards by a discretionary salary from the 
county treasury. These courts were introduced 
on an idea that they would render justice speedily, 
cheaply and satisfactorily. In some counties able 
men presided in them, and gave satisfaction. This, 
however, was not so general as to be customary, 
and the method of doing business deprived par- 


ties of some of the most important legal safe- 
guards to the impartial selection of juries. Nei- 
ther delays nor expenses were lessened, but, in 
the end, increased, as every needless intermediate 
tribunal has always been found to operate. They 
did not in many counties command respect, and 
became disorderly. When the constitution of 
1850 was adopted they were, by universal consent, 
discontinued as worse than failures. 

The revision of 1846 abolished the court of 
chancery, and transferred the disposition of equity 
cases to the circuit courts. This plan has worked 
very well — its only drawback being the incapacity 
of some county clerks to keep their records and 
business in proper shape, and the habit which 
sometimes prevails of unduly postponing equity 
hearings to accommodate the common law issues. 
Our system has become so far simplified that the 
unnecessary distinctions between law and equity 
have mostly disappeared, and equity proceedings 
are only flexible remedies to reach the cases which 
cannot properly be tried on common-law issues. 
Facilities exist for having juries pass upon such 
facts as may require it, without the old necessity 
of having them sent before another tribunal. It 
is very much safer to have cases of all kinds dis- 
posed of before courts familiar with all departments 
of the law. Those courts have always acted most 
judiciously where legal and equitable, and civil 
and criminal, questions are all subject to decision. 
To make any system of laws work well, there must 


be harmony among all Its departments ; and 
specialists are often unsafe counsellors, because 
they give undue importance to their subjects, and 
magnify forms and multiply distinctions beyond 
reason, while they are peculiarly disposed to in- 
dulo^e in theories of conduct that ig-nore the in- 
finite variety of human action. 

The revision of 1846 began some valuable re- 
forms in the rules of evidence, v^hich have now 
been carried still further. Witnesses were no 
longer excluded from testifying by reason of in- 
terest, opinion, or character, but all such objec- 
tions were made to go to their credibility ; and 
juries and courts were allowed, if they believed 
their statements, to act upon them. The old rules 
were senseless, and well calculated to defeat the 
ends of justice. The only rules of exclusion that 
rest on real and sensible reasons of policy, are 
those which prevent parties from violating confi- 
dences, and from criminating themselves. The 
revision wisely recognized this, in protecting the 
confidences of patients to physicians, and religious 
confidences, as well as those of lawyers and clients, 
and in the domestic relations of husband and wife. 
The necessity of encouraging fidelity in confiden- 
tial relations, is much greater than that of encour- 
aging litigation ; and rules which would destroy 
manly honor and private faith would be poorly 
compensated by the small occasional gain that might 
ensue to persons contending in the courts, by en- 
larging their field of inquisitlveness. 


This revision also enabled parties in some 
cases to obtain the testimony of their adversaries 
in law courts, whenever it could have been ob- 
tained for the same purpose by bill of discovery 
in equity. This was only one step towards the 
entire removal of the disability of parties to testify 
like other witnesses, — a measure which has been 
approved by experience. 

The o;reatest changre in criminal law was the 
abolition of capital punishment. The previous 
laws in regard to felonies had, during the earlier 
Territorial days, confined the death-penalty to 
murder. This crime had then been divided into 
degrees. Murder in the first degree, which em- 
braced only the more deliberate and cruel kinds 
of murder, was punished by death, while murder 
in the second degree was subject to a graduated 
and partly discretionary imprisonment. The crime 
of murder in the first degree was now made 
punishable by imprisonment for life, with no dis- 
cretion to reduce it. The statistics of crime have 
never been so thoroughly intelligible that any one 
can determine very safely what effect this change 
has had. It is very doubtful how far the degree 
of punishment has any direct bearing on the 
minds of those who commit this atrocious crime. 
There is, no doubt, an indirect influence exercised 
on public opinion by all penal statutes, which 
reaches criminals and innocent persons alike, and 
produces some effect on their estimate of conduct. 
But very few have been known to calculate on 



the measure of punishment, before committing 
homicide, or other violent assaults. There has 
been no popular or general expression which 
would indicate a desire to restore the death pen- 
alty, and it is questionable whether, if existing, it 
would be disturbed, if left to a popular vote. 
The change made in 1846 was not either demanded 
or condemned by the general sentiment. Murders 
had not been common in the State, and then, as 
now, whatever opinions there were upon the sub- 
ject were not the result of study or experience, 
but rather of pre-existing ideas and differing 
theories. The circumstances of individual crimes 
are iSO different that criminal statistics are among 
the least valuable means of reachmg safe conclu- 
sions on the relations of crime and punishment ; 
and few subjects attract less public attention than 
the bulk of criminal legislation. The Criminal 
Statutes of the United States have seldom called 
forth any debate in Congress, and State laws of 
the same kind are very apt to be adopted with- 
out much discussion. A change so radical as the 
removal of the gallows from among the instru- 
ments of punishment could not fail to create much 
comment, but it did not elicit any full expression 
of popular feeling. 

The Supreme Court, which began with three 
judges, was increased in 1838 to four, and in 1848 
to five; and in 1849 ^ constitutional amendment 
was proposed, (and afterwards adopted) making 
them elective. 


The Upper Peninsula, although the Indian 
title was extinguished in 1842, remained unsettled 
for some time. The want of shipping on the lake 
prevented the development of .business, and the 
want of business prevented the building of vessels. 
Without a canal to give communication below, it 
seemed likely the opening of this country would 
be indefinitely postponed. Year after year the 
Legislature urged the matter before Congress, 
and more than one effort was made to secure a 
right of way for a corporation to build the canal. 
Some malign influence baulked every effort, until 
one might imagine the Military Reserve and all its 
surroundings w^ere too hallowed ground for 
commerce to tread. In the face of these obstruc- 
tions, nothing was left but to wait patiently until 
interests should appear, which would be influen- 
tial enoup^h to overcome the mischief. 

A first essential to settlement was a complete 
survey of the lands, or of enough to furnish a 
foothold for business. The early explorations of 
Dr. Houghton had determined the true character 
of the mineral region, but his revelations were so 
remarkable as to disturb scientific theories, and 
that was a serious affair not to be lightly accepted. 
In his earlier excursions he found it impossible to 
make complete surveys upon the ground, because 
the compass-needle was subject to such great and 
varying fluctuations as to render it inefficient. 
This difficulty was removed by the genius of a 
Michigan scientific inventor, William A. Burt, who 



had been for many years prominent as a govern- 
ment surveyor and engineer, and who devised a 
simple and elegant instrument which was indepen- 
dent of magnetic disturbances. This was the now 
well known solar compass. This remarkable in- 
vention not only furnished the means of determin- 
ing at a glance a true meridian, but had combined 
with it various other functions, which made it, in 
a compact form, one of the most useful pieces of 
scientific mechanism ever put together. By means 
of this the work of the mineral land surveys be- 
came easy and accurate. At the same time Dr. 
Houghton devised another plan — so simple that 
the stupidity which failed to appreciate it is 
marvellous — of combining the linear with the 
geological survey, and carrying all on together. 
This would be more economical than any other, 
and would locate with exactness every important 

The public surveys in Michigan were carried 
on under a system devised originally for the 
Northwest Territory. A principal meridian line 
was first run, and a principal base line upon a 
parallel of latitude. All the surveys were made so 
as to be reckoned east or west of the meridian, 
and north or south of the base. The survey dis- 
trict was divided off into townships, nominally six 
miles square, but always narrower at the north 
than at the south side, because of the conver- 
gence of the bounding meridians. Each township 
was divided into thirty-six sections, nominally one 


mile square, but really affected by the same con- 
vergence, except that, instead of the loss being 
distributed equally among all the sections, it was 
thrown upon the north and west sides of the town- 
ship. The more rapid convergence of the lines 
as they approached higher latitudes rendered it 
necessary to adopt at intervals new, or correction- 
al bases, from which to run the town lines north- 
ward. Each section was divisible into sixteenths, 
but was not usually surveyed in fact into these 
minute divisions, but lines were run at half mile 
intervals. Dr. Houghton's plan was to have on 
these lines, or on still more frequent subdividing 
lines when necessary, notes taken of everything 
of geological value, and of its exact position, and 
if not exactly on the line, to have its bearings 
and distances noted. In this way, when the maps 
were made up from the surveyor's notes, every 
mineral bed or other important object would ap- 
pear in its exact place, and could be located and 
followed up without difficulty at any time, if a more 
thorough examination by the geologist should be 
required, without loss of time, in new explorations. 
Mr. Burt, who was a good explorer and a man 
of science, at once appreciated the value of this 
plan. Dr. Houghton succeeded in obtaining au- 
thority from the General Land Office to try its 
efficacy, and undertook the survey in person, in 
company with Mr. Burt, and other competent as- 
sistants. The work was done with the facility and 
exactness which he anticipated. But at the close 


of his first season, on the 13th of October, 1845, 
Dr. Houghton was overtaken by a storm while in 
a small boat near Eagle River, and perished. All 
the important notes of his season's work were lost 
with him. His death was deeply mourned through- 
out the State. It was an irreparable loss to the 
Upper Peninsula, for his place was not filled by 
those who partook his views or believed in his 
plans ; and a system which with diligence and sa- 
gacity was feasible, and in all respects admirable, 
was dropped. All the subsequent explorations 
have been independent and fragmentary. 

Enough was now known to stimulate mining 
enterprise. The United States, in advance of 
further complete surveys, issued permits or licenses 
to locate tracts of land for mining purposes, and 
leases were o-ranted of these locations, which were 
surveyed in a rectangular form, but seldom exactly 
conforming to the survey lines subsequently estab- 
lished. Companies were formed to work these 
locations, and the remarkable developments soon 
created a great excitement, until mining companies 
furnished a greater source of speculation than 
wildcat banking. Nevertheless the companies 
very generally were got up for actual mining, and 
spent much time and money in developing their 
property. The earliest companies were not incor- 
porated. In 1847, the Legislature remonstrated 
aofainst the action of the oovernment in leavino- 
the ricrhts of these lessees in a condition of un- 
certainty, and urged that such action be had as 


to remove doubts as to their title. The lands 
were afterwards sold and conveyed in fee simple. 

The supplies to the early mines were taken 
up to the Sault by vessels or steamboats. There 
they were carted, and afterwards carried upon a 
short tram-railway, to the head of the rapids, and 
taken further by coasting boats, until a vessel or 
two could be obtained. The first propellers and 
steamers on Lake Superior, were moved past 
the Rapids in a sort of cradle or frame, on rollers. 
In 1 85 1, or 1852, the last of these steamers, the 
Sam Ward, was taken over in the same way. From 
the landing places the supplies were taken back 
to the mines on pack-horses or mules in summer, 
and with dog-trains or sleds in winter. The 
mineral, until roads were made, came down to the 
landings chiefly during the winter on sleds. 

The enormous expense of supplies, and the 
loss of money by inexperience and extravagance, 
rendered most of the first enterprises costly, and 
many of them were ruinous. But the spirit ot 
enterprise was proof against all these trials, and 
the country became a scene of busy labor and 
great activity. Its early settlers, as was natural 
in such a region, were men of intelligence and 
enlarged ideas, and their influence has been per- 
manent. Few countries have had a larger share 
of valuable citizens, or a- smaller number of 
drones or paupers. 

After the sale of the railroads, and the re- 
newal of activity in business, which had begun to 

Chap. XV.J ASYLUMS. 531 

bring out the public resources more evidently, the 
attention of the people was turned to some objects 
which had been neglected, chiefly from want of 
means. At this time the penitentiary at Jackson 
was the principal institution directly maintained by 
the State. The number of persons disabled from 
ordinary pursuits began to attract consideration. 
In 1848, preliminary steps were taken to provide 
asylums for the deaf, dumb and blind, and for 
the insane. Commissioners were appointed to 
select locations, and erect buildings, and put the 
institutions in operation ; and eight sections of salt 
lands were appropriated. At that time the number 
of such asylums in the United States was not 
large, and their requirements were not well under- 
stood. The Board determined, before doing more, 
to get such a thorough knowledge of the different 
asylums as would enable them to act discreetly, 
and to secure such further appropriations as they 
should find necessary. Chancellor Farnsworth 
visited in person all the institutions of that kind 
in the United States. Dr. Pitcher and Mr. Bela 
Hubbard had made a study of the treatment of 
insanity, and were well informed upon the con- 
dition of the principal asylums. The Insane 
Asylum had received liberal offers at Kalamazoo, 
including a tract of ten acres, which was by many 
supposed to be large enough. Governor Barry 
and Chancellor Farnsworth secured the selection 
of one hundred and sixty acres, by agreeing to 
retain it if not confirmed, and finally it was wisely 


determined by the Legislature to appropriate 
enough not only to procure this land, which was 
a good bargain, but to build a very different 
building from what at first they had been disposed 
to provide for. In due time it was finished and 
equipped, and, under its accomplished superinten- 
dent Dr. Van Duzen, has been well managed and 
very successful in curing or alleviating the maladies 
of many patients, whose lives have been lightened 
by its kindly ministrations. The Asylum for the 
Deaf and Dumb, and the Blind, was established 
at Flint under similar precautions, and has done 
great good. 

The University graduated its first academic 
class in June, 1845. Thereafter it continued to 
grow steadily. In 1848, the Medical Department 
was organized, which in a few years took rank 
with the best in the country. The union school 
system was becoming popular, and it was found 
important to provide a training school for teach- 
ers. Normal schools were as yet experimental, 
and the statute of 1849, which established the 
State Normal School, gave to the Board of 
Education a wide discretion as to its system. Its 
object was not only to impart such knowledge as 
would benefit teachers already well educated, but 
to educate them. Instruction was also to be given 
in the mechanic arts, in aoricultural knowledo^e 
and science, and in the fundamental laws of the 
country, and other matters bearing on the duties 
of citizens. This school was established at Ypsi- 


lanti, and has been continued on a comprehensive 
plan, which is undoubtedly wiser than confining it 
to the machinery and tactics which to some minds 
seem to make up the equipment of teachers. 
The Board of Education was found to be a valu- 
able body for other public purposes, and has suc- 
ceeded to a laro-e course of duties. 

In 1843, the State lands, apart from the educa- 
tional and special funds, had become important 
property, and a State Land Office was established, 
which had control given to it of the entire body 
of State lands, whether held in trust or otherwise. 
The Superintendent of Public Instruction was re- 
lieved from the care of lands. The office was 
fixed at Marshall, where it remained until removed 
to Lansing, under an act of 1849. 

Several colleges were from time to time created 
under special charters, in different parts o^ the 
State. Some of them became quite successful 
and some still remain so. The great portion of 
them never kept up their organization. 

The Constitution of 1835 left the temporary 
location of the State Capital subject to legislative 
discretion until 1847, when it was to be per- 
manently located. When that time came there 
was much difficulty in agreeing upon any of the 
existing towns, several of which received consider- 
able support, but none a majority. A suggestion 
was finally made to locate it near the geographical 
centre of the State, without selecting a town of 
present importance, and it was fixed in the town 


of Lansing, in Ingham County. Proposals had 
been made by parties interested in that township 
to procure its location on their lands. The Legis- 
lature determined, however, to require its location 
by disinterested commissioners, who might consider 
the proposals made by those parties or any others, 
but were to act on their own best judgment. 
The school section in that township had not been 
sold, and, as it was a very eligible spot, it was 
determined to place the Capital there. This not 
only gave the school-fund the benefit of having 
the seat of government laid out upon it, but was 
probably as good a choice as could have been 
made. The position is handsome and well adapted 
to a city. Although its isolation retarded its 
growth, it is now increasing rapidly, and in the 
road to prosperity. A Capitol building was put 
up in a very few months, and intended to serve 
but a temporary purpose ; while a larger and 
finer building-site was set apart for the future 
permanent edifice. Fortunately the temporary 
building was retained until the State was disposed 
to substitute another worthy of permanence ; and 
before the end* of the coming year the entire 
business of the commonwealth will be centred in 
a large and stately Capitol, fair in its proportions, 
and having, if as well managed hereafter as here- 
tofore, no reminder of fraud or peculation to mar 
the popular pride in the undertaking. All the 
moneys devoted to it have been honestly and 
faithfully expended. 



There were several circumstances which led the 
minds of the people towards a revision of the Con- 
stitution. It could have been amended easily, but 
it was supposed a new instrument might be made 
more homogeneous. Probably the chief cause of 
the chanee was the va2:ue desire that sometimes 
o-ets abroad to revolutionize or alter affairs, without 
any fixed plan or object. Other States had made 
sweeping revisions, and Michigan should follow 
them. There were, nevertheless, some subjects on 
which there had been agitation and warmth. 

By amendments already in force, the power to 
borrow money had been much circumscribed, and 
the cabinet officers as well as judges had been 
made elective, thus divorcing the Governor from 
the rest of the executive department, and destroy- 
ing his chief executive function and responsibility. 
It was still claimed that he had influence remain- 
ing that might be used corruptly or unfairly for 
his own benefit, and that the Legislature were also 
exposed to sinister influences. The charges which 
were bandied about, if they had any force, would 
almost go to demonstrate the failure of free gov- 
ernment entirely. But, such as they were, they 
had some weight in the adoption of a constitution, 
with many very good features, but which intimates 
from first to last that no one is to be trusted. 

The abuse of the appointing power had been 
prevented by taking it away. But there is little 
in the history of Michigan to indicate its abuse. 
There had been a series of senatorial elections. 


which are not beHeved to have been the result of 
any pecuHar executive influence, but which were 
in the heat of discussion charged to that, and 
which led to a constitutional inhibition ag^ainst the 
selection of a governor as senator. This, however, 
has been regarded as beyond the popular control, 
and inoperative. The succession of the Senate is 
a proper item of State history, and was as follows. 
As already seen, Lucius Lyon and John Norvell 
were elected Senators in 1835. By the allotment 
in the vSenate when they were admitted, Mr. 
Lyon's term was made to expire in 1839, ^^^ M^- 
Norvell's in 1841. The Legislature of 1839 elec- 
ted Mr. Porter, a Whig, — Mr. Mason, the Gover- 
nor, being a Democrat. In 1841, the Whig Leg- 
islative nomination was given to Mr. Gordon, the 
Lieutenant Governor ; but a secret arrangement 
was made by the Democratic members with some 
Whig members to support Governor Woodbridge, 
who was elected. The next vacancy occurred in 
1845, when the Democrats were in power, and 
John S. Barry was Governor. Mr. Porter, of 
course, was left out. General Cass had returned 
to Michigan, and had been in 1844 prominent be- 
fore the Democratic National Convention as a 
Presidential candidate ; and, through Mr. Van 
Buren's influence, had been defeated by Mr. Polk. 
He was so manifestly the proper man for senator 
that he was elected at once. In 1847, when Gov- 
ernor Woodbridge retired, Alpheus Felch was 
Governor. He had been Auditor General and 


Judge of the Supreme Court, resigning his latter 
office upon his election as Governor, in the fall 
of 1845. The Legislature of 1847 elected Gover- 
nor Felch to the Senate. This was the second 
instance of a governor thus honored. 

In 1847, Epaphroditus Ransom, then Chief 
Justice, was elected Governor, and assumed his 
executive duties in January, 1848. General Cass 
was that spring nominated for the Presidency 
against General Zachary Taylor, and resigned his 
seat in the Senate. The Legislature was not in 
session, and the power of appointment fell to the 
Governor, who appointed Thomas Fitzgerald to 
fill the vacancy until the Legislature should meet. 
It was then thought, by those who anticipated the 
election of General Cass, that Governor Ransom 
would become the colleague in the Senate of his 
predecessor in both offices, Governor Felch. 
General Taylor's election, as it did not change 
Michigan politics, left General Cass again the 
most suitable choice for the Senate, and he was 
again elected by common consent. No other 
Senatorial elections took place until after the 
new Constitution took efiect. 

In these cases Governor Woodbridge was 
elected by the opposing party, and Governor 
Felch never was suspected of being elected on 
any ground but his fitness for the place. The 
fear that one office would be used to obtain 
another, was not based on any actual success of 
that kind. But when people become suspicious, 


and look out for grievances, any hint will arouse 
their suspicions. 

Another evil was more obvious. The existing 
Constitution prevented general corporation laws, 
and no corporation could exist without special 
charter. In the early days of the State, railroad 
and bank charters were given to any one who 
asked them, and so were charters for all pur- 
poses. These charters contained no personal 
liabiHty clauses, and were generally very ill- 
guarded against abuse. As contracts, they had 
become irrevocable. A host of banks had failed, 
and now there were not over about half a dozen 
in the State, and their charters were approaching 
an end. There was a great popular fear of their 
multiplication, and some jealousy of their renewal. 
The new railroad companies had been given very 
liberal charters when they bought their roads 
from the State, and there were strong assurances 
against competition. As the necessity for new 
roads arose, there were difficulties about securing 
charters. It was found that at each session the 
•Legislature was beset by an importunate and ag- 
o-ressive lobby, who became an intolerable nuis- 
ance, and threw suspicion on the honesty of 
every thing they favored. Charges were freely 
made of corruption, and a decision, either for or 
against a corporate interest, was subject to be 
impugned. All these scandals arose from corpor- 
ations under special charters, or persons desiring 
or opposing the grant of new charters. A very 


general feeling was aroused In favor of changing 
this system, and making provision for general 
corporation laws, creating no individual privileges. 

These and other less defined discontents led 
to the calling of a new Constitutional convention, 
which met at Lansing in 1850, and prepared the 
Constitution under which we now live, which was 
adopted by popular vote, and took effect on the 
first of January, 1851. 

The period between the Mexican war and the 
adoption of the Constitution of 1850 was largely 
taken up with discussions on the question of 
slavery in the Territories, and this postponed the 
civil government of New Mexico, and California 
and the other acquired lands, until settled by the 
Compromise of 1850. The Michigan Legislature 
passed repeated and strong resolutions in favor 
of suppressing the slave trade in the District of 
Columbia, and preventing its existence in any of 
the acquired territory. In 1850, the admission of 
California as a free State was insisted upon, and 
the question of passing measures of harmony 
was entrusted to the discretion of the Senators 
and Representatives in Congress. This resolution 
and one in favor of the free navigation of the 
St. Lawrence, closed the work of the last Legis- 
lature under the old Constitution. 



The Convention which met in 1850 agreed 
upon a constitution, some parts of which were re- 
enactments, although in different language, of what 
had already been in force. Some very important 
changes, however, were introduced, and some re- 
markable restrictions. 

The judicial system was changed by making, 
for the present, eight circuit judges, (whose 
number might be enlarged) with supreme court 
powers, instead of supreme court judges with 
circuit powers. The judges were to hold office 
for six years, and the courts were to have law 
and equity powers. County courts were abolished, 
and the jurisdiction of justices of the peace was 
raised to three hundred dollars, with power to 
increase it to five hundred dollars — subject to 
such exceptions as should be provided by law. 
After six years, a separate supreme court with 
four judges, was authorized to be created. The 
Upper Peninsula was under the jurisdiction of a 
district court, which might ultimately be changed 
to a circuit court. Grand juries were not abolished, 
but it became lawful to dispense with them. Im- 


prlsonment for debt, except in cases of fraud and 
fiduciary or official misconduct, was forbidden. 

The sessions of the Legislature were to be 
held once in two years, instead of annually, and 
both senators and representatives to be chosen for 
one legislative term. Representatives were to be 
elected from single districts, except that in cities 
and townships entitled to more than one member, 
all were to be chosen by one ticket. Special 
acts of incorporation could no longer be passed 
except for municipal purposes. All other than 
municipal corporations were to be organized under 
general laws. Every law was required to be con- 
fined to a single object, specified in its title, and 
not to take effect within ninety days after the 
adjournment of the Legislature, without a two- 
thirds vote of all the members elected to each 
house ; and the yeas and nays were required on 
the passage of all statutes. Amendments could 
only be made by re-enacting at length the section 
as amended. No private claim could be audited 
or allowed by the Legislature, and a two-thirds 
vote was required for every act appropriating 
money to private or local purposes. License laws 
for the sale of intoxicating liquors were forbidden. 

All revenue for ordinary purposes was re- 
quired to be raised by annual taxes, but specific 
taxes on corporations were to be applied on the 
State debt, and after its extinguishment paid over 
to the primary school fund. All interest on the 
educational trust funds was payable out of specific 



taxes. No debts (except for war purposes) could 
be incurred beyond fifty thousand dollars, and the 
State could not aid or be interested in either 
corporate stock, or works of internal improve- 
ment, except in expending grants for the latter 
purpose. State credit could not be loaned or 
granted in aid of persons or corporations. Taxes 
(not specific) were to be levied on property 
assessed at its cash value. 

Agricultural leases, upon rents, were confined 
to twelve years, and corporation lands, except 
where used for corporation purposes, could not 
be left unsold beyond ten years. Careful guards 
were placed upon the subjecting of private pro- 
perty to purposes of public utility. 

No revision of the statutes was to be made, 
but compilations of existing laws were permitted. 
This was done by Judge Thomas M. Cooley, in 
1857, and by Judge James M. Dewey in 1871. 

All State and judicial offtcers were made elec- 
tive, subject to impeachment for misconduct. 
Judges were made removable, on the concurrent 
resolution of two-thirds of both houses. By a 
subsequent amendment, other State officers were 
removable for misconduct, by the executive. 

The Governor had, as before, the qualified 
veto power, and a power to reprieve and pardon 
after conviction, (except on impeachment.) 

The elective franchise was originally confined 
to white male citizens, and persons who had 



declared their intentions to become citizens six 
months before election, and resided in the State 
two years and six months. Civilized native 
Indians not connected with any tribe could 
also vote. By subsequent amendment, the word 
" white " was stricken out, but an amendment 
permitting women to vote was defeated. 

The school funds were provided for as before, 
except that the ultimate destination of specific 
taxes and of the proceeds of escheated lands, was 
to be added to the primary school fund. Free 
schools were to be kept in each district, at least 
three months in the year. Provision was made 
for an agricultural school, for benevolent institu- 
tions, for the Normal School, and for public li- 
braries in every township, and all fines for the 
breach of penal laws were devoted to these 

The University was put under an elective board 
of regents, consisting of eight members, elected at 
the same time and in the same districts with the 
circuit judges, except that the vote of the Upper 
Peninsula was attached to that of the third circuit. 
In 1863, the Board was made elective by the State 
at large, for terms of eight years, two members 
retiring every two years. 

Homestead exemptions of property to the value 
of fifteen hundred dollars, (not alienable or subject 
to incumbrance except by joint act of husband 
and wife if belonging to married persons,) were 
secured ; and the property of married women was 


secured to their sole use. Aliens bona fide resident 
were given the same property rights as citizens. 

Salaries of circuit judges, legislators, and exe- 
cutive officers, were permanently fixed ; and sev- 
eral provisions were adopted to exclude them 
from leaving one office for another. Stationery 
allowances to the Legislature were limited, and 
public contracts were confined to the lowest 

This Constitution was much more specific than 
that of 1835, ^^^ some of its provisions, — espe- 
cially in regard to salaries, — have been found 
troublesome. The guards against loans beyond 
fifty thousand dollars, to meet revenue deficiencies, 
were, on one occasion, when the treasury was 
depleted by embezzlement, only prevented from 
ruinous mischief by private liberality. 

The history of the State, since the new Con- 
stitution was adopted, has been prosperous but 
not eventful, and there have been few striking 
occurrences. Its release from the dangers of debt 
and extravagance in public works, has left the 
public business chiefly confined to the legitimate 
oversight of the general interests. The expendi- 
ture of grants of land for various works of im- 
provement has involved some trouble and difficulty, 
but no considerable pecuniary dealings. There 
have been no home disturbances to break in upon 
the public tranquillity, and not many cases of gross 
official misconduct requiring the interposition of 
the criminal laws. Nevertheless the course of 


affairs contains some thinp^s worth recordino- as 
important if not remarkable. 

Under the Constitution, Governor Barry con- 
tinued in office until 1852. In 1851, an election 
was to be held for a Governor to hold a single 
year, until January, 1853, when the regular bi- 
ennial term was to succeed. Robert McClelland 
was elected for the short term, and re-elected for 
the next two years, (1853-4,) and Andrew Parsons 
was elected Lieutenant Governor. These were 
succeeded by Kinsley S. Bingham in 1855, Moses 
Wisner in 1859, Austin Blair in 1861, Henry H. 
Crapo in 1865, Henry P. Baldwin in 1869, and 
John J. Bagley in 1873. 

The sessions of 1851 were mostly devoted to 
such legislation as was necessary to accommodate 
matters to the changed Constitution. Attention 
was, however, called to the increased necessity for 
a canal round the Falls of St. Mary's River ; and 
Congress was addressed upon the subject. Reso- 
lutions were also passed, both in 1851 and in 
1853, calling upon the United States to protect 
the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in their Mich- 
igan setdements, and asserting their quiet character 
and advancement in industry and civilization. The 
swamp lands which had been offered upon certain 
conditions by the United States were also accepted. 
By a series of laws since passed, diese lands 
have been brought into market, made accessible 
by roads, and largely disposed of to setders on 
liberal terms. Many if not a majority of these 


lands have become or will become habitable, and 

In 1852, the United States granted 750,000 
acres of land to build a ship canal at the Sault 
de Ste. Marie. The State let the contract to re- 
sponsible parties, for the appropriation, and the 
canal was at once put in course of construction, 
and finished in the spring of 1855. Its effect was 
immediate in reducing mining expenses, and in 
furnishing inducements to open and settle the 
country. The towns began at once to increase, 
and the subsequent growth of the iron and copper 
regions was rapid. The work has since been 
enlarged and improved at the expense of the 
United States government. 

In 1859, reports were received leading to the 
belief that an easy communication could be had 
with the Pacific by w^ater ways and natural roads, 
requiring no improvement. It was stated that a 
gentleman had come over from Puget's Sound to 
St. Paul in a wheeled vehicle, in a very short time, 
having met with no obstacles whatever .to hinder 
his journey. After examining into the facts, the 
Legislature memorialized Congress to establish a 
tri-weekly mail between St. Paul's and Puget 
Sound. The Northern Pacific Railroad had not 
then been thought of 

The Upper Peninsula, as already suggested, 
was for a time connected with Wayne County, 
for the purpose of electing regents of the Univer- 
sity. This arrangement was made because, al- 

Chap. XVI.] BEAVER ISLANDS. ^ 547 

though geographically distant from Detroit, the 
business connection was closer than with any other 
part of the State. This led to another arrange- 
ment, made on the same grounds of convenience. 
In 1853, the Counties of Emmet and Cheboygan 
were organized. Under the new Constitution they 
could not longer remain connected with Mackinaw, 
as that was in the Upper Peninsula, and no other 
organized county was convenient. They were 
accordingly attached to the Third Circuit. But 
the real purpose of some of the parties concerned 
arose out of a remarkable condition of affairs. 
The Beaver Islands, in Lake Michigan, were 
anciently the principal seat of the nation of the 
Beavers or Amikoue, a tribe at one time held in 
very high esteem, as supposed to be descended 
from the Great Beaver. He was a mythological 
being held second only to Michabou, or the Great 
Hare, the most powerful spirit in the catalogue of 
Indian divinities. When the remnant of the tribe 
retired to Manitoualin Island, in Lake Huron, they 
were succeeded in their old home by a band of 
Ottawas, who in Charlevoix's time had become 
good farmers, and emulated the Huron s in ao^ri- 
cultural labors. During the Pontiac war it was 
in close union with the settlement at L'Arbre 
Croche, and was then, as it was long after, a place 
held in some sort of mysterious reverence. By 
the Treaty of March, 1836, with the Ottawas and 
Chippewas, the Beaver Islands were specially 
reserved for the Beaver Island Indians. The 


Senate, in confirming this reservation, with others, 
undertook to Hmit it to five years, unless permis- 
sion was given by the United States to remain 
longer. If made with white men, this would be 
regarded as a somewhat singular method of deal- 
ing with treaties, unless subsequently ratified. 
How far any steps were taken legally under this 
change in the treaty it may not be easy to deter- 
mine. But in 1847, ^ township was created called 
the Township of Peaine, including the Beaver 
Islands as a part of Mackinaw County, and 
establishing the place of meetings at Beaver 
Island Harbor, " at the store of A. Cable."' The 
Constitution of 1850 placed all the islands in Lake 
Michigan in the region known as the Upper 
Peninsula. But in 1853 the County of Emmet 
(formerly named Tonedagone from a chief of 
note,) was organized, and the Township of Peaine 
was expressly recognized as a part of it. The 
county was attached to the Third Circuit, and the 
judge of that circuit held court at St. James, the 
principal settlement and county seat, on the largest 
Beaver Island. In 1855, Manitou County was 
organized, out of the various clusters of islands in 
the northern part of Lake Michigan ; and St. James 
was made the county seat until another was 
provided. In 1871, after having been organized 
six years, the county was attached to Mackinaw 
for court purposes, '' until other provision is made 
by law for holding a court in said County ol 
Manitou." In 1865, it was attached to Leelenaw. 
It has since become independent again. 


To understand this curious handling, it may be 
explained in part by the colonization of the islands. 
While there were some settlers on Beaver Island, 
who, whether rightfully or wrongfully there, were 
carrying on business peaceably, fishing and trading, 
and in some instances farming, their quiet was 
disturbed by the arrival of a considerable body 
of Mormons, who had seceded from the main 
body, and had come to establish a kingdom in the 
old seat of the Indian Manitou. Their monarch 
was King James the First — known to other 
mortals as James J. Strang. He established his 
court at St. James, and became an autocrat. The 
unfortunate Gentiles, who had no legal title to their 
lands, but who were probably expecting to pre- 
empt them, were crowded off the island, and treated 
as roughly as it was safe to treat them, being 
robbed in such a way as to render it difficult to 
establish any case against the wrong-doers. Here 
for a time the isolation of the islands rendered 
it easy to carry out the royal plans, and the 
domain became in a certain sense prosperous under 
its politico-ecclesiastical monarchy, which absorbed 
a lion's share of the gains. Good stock was intro- 
duced, — a newspaper established, — and the press 
used for home purposes. Outsiders were not 
desired or welcome. This state of things first 


came into notice when the fishermen of Mackinaw, 
and others engaged in various interests, came in 
collision with the islanders; and a bitter feud 
arose, but the Mormons held their own. No 

550 MORMON AFFAIRS. [Chap. XVt. 

adequate means existed for bringing them to 
justice, by reason of some doubts touching their 
legal jurisdictional position ; and the local offices 
were all in the hands of the faithful, so that re- 
dress was hopeless there. At last a case was got 
up against them for an alleged interference with 
the United States mail ; and the armed steamer 
Michigan was sent up from Detroit, with officers to 
arrest Strang and some of his chief followers. 
The complaint, however, was not legally well- 
founded ; and although the proceedings disclosed 
much that was not creditable, and many of the 
island people were shown up in an unpleasant 
light, it did not appear that they had violated the 
laws of the United States. Strang, as might have 
been expected from his influence over the people, 
turned out to be an intelligent and well educated 
man, of pleasing address, and free from any 
offensive ways among strangers ; and he became 
personally popular with those who met him. He 
improved his time by becoming well informed on 
his legal condition and prospects, and appeared at 
the next Legislature as member from Emmet. 
He then procured the legislation which completed 
its organization, and detached it from Mackinaw, 
where everybody was hostile. His demeanor in 
the Legislature was such as to command respect, 
and he was reckoned a useful member. During 
the interval before the next Legislature, the feel- 
ings of the neighboring fishermen became very 
bitter, and the general course of things did not 


change. But at last Strang was murdered, while 
entering the steam ship Michigan, which was lying 
at the wharf on the island. After his death, the 
people of the mainland revenged themselves on 
his followers by an organized raid, in which nearly 
everything removable was carried off as booty, 
and confiscated, or in the phrase of the captors, 
(borrowed from some former unpleasant island 
experiences of their own when they were victi- 
mised) " consecrated!' The island was now in the 
Upper Peninsula District, and in the absence of 
any organized county government it was difficult 
to dispense justice there. Attempts were made at 
Mackinaw to bring the spoilers to a reckoning, 
but the prosecutions all failed for lack of evidence, 
and might also, perhaps, have been affected by 
public prejudice. As lawlessness had only pre- 
vailed against what was believed to have been 
quite as bad or worse lawlessness, the result was 
not as shocking to the popular sense of justice as 
it would have been under other circumstances. 
The plunder included some valuable and expensive 
property, — among other things several handsome 
boats, and the largest and finest mules that were 
ever seen in the State. The subsequent legal 
condition of the islands, harried and abandoned, 
is easily accounted for, and their practical outlawry 
was not singular. 

The whole upper country was for many years 
shut out from easy access, from seven to eight 
months in the twelve. The law required two 

552 LAW IN THE NORTH. [Chap. XVI. 

terms of court to be held in each year, in ever}'' 
county, and of course these came quite near 
together ; while, between the latest fall and earli- 
est spring or summer term, there was a very 
long interval. They were fortunate in obtaining, 
in the Honorable Daniel Goodwin, a judge of 
great legal knowledge and experience, who did 
business promptly, and was seldom appealed 
from. Neither judge nor bar resided in the 
Upper Peninsula ; and from November till May 
or June, legal proceedings were often left in very 
inexperienced hands. In a scattered population, 
containing very few legally qualified as jurors, it 
was sometimes troublesome to fill a panel of 
either grand or petit jurors who were both com- 
petent and disinterested. No county buildings 
were furnished in some of the counties, and in 
some the prison was unfit for winter habitation, 
if they had one at all. Accordingly it was inevi- 
table that many irregularities should exist, and 
that the people winked at things which they could 
not improve. In one county a serious riot 
occurred in midwinter, where the case went 
beyond the powers of a justice of the peace ; 
and a worthy gentleman who was circuit court 
commissioner assumed the duty recommended by 
the old saw, est boni judicis ampliare jiirisdictioneui, 
and tried and sentenced the offenders to a long 
imprisonment. As he was the only one who 
could issue a habeas corpus in the absence ot 
Judge Goodwin, the imprisonment was as effectual 


as if it had been legal ; and as it was deserved, 
the sentence was popularly approved. An action 
for false imprisonment was defeated by the re- 
moval of the defendant beyond any temporal 
jurisdiction; but the damages likely to be assessed 
by a jury of citizens for shutting up the disturb- 
ers of the peace would not have impoverished 
him if he had lived. A young Indian charged 
with murder (committed, if at all in an Indian 
carouse, and not aggravated) was allowed to go 
at large without bail for several terms, and regu- 
larly appeared promptly for trial until his case 
was heard. He was wofully ignorant of the 
customs of the whites in similar circumstances. 
Speedy and irregular remedies were not much 
blamed where there was great provocation ; and 
the dangers of drunkenness among miners, which 
rendered it necessary to keep liquor-sellers away 
from the locations, sometimes led to their expul- 
sion in a way more summary than comfortable. 
With such temporary variations from the regular 
process of law, there was a general respect for 
substantial justice, and for the judgments of com- 
petent tribunals, and no disposition to lawless 

In 1853, a prohibitory liquor law was passed 
which was made to depend upon a popular vote, 
and was therefore regarded as not legally enacted. 
In 1855, a similar act was adopted by the Legis- 
lature, without popular intervention, and sustained. 
It continued in force until repealed in 1875, and 

554 UNIVERSITY. [Chap. XVI. 

replaced by a series of taxing and regulating 
statutes, which have been much more faithfully 
enforced, and have accomplished much good. 

The new board of regents of the University 
were required to appoint a president, who, in 
addition to his duties in the college, was to be 
chairman of the regents, but without a vote. 
They selected the Rev. Henry P. Tappan, D.D., 
an accomplished scholar and able man, who 
remained in that post until 1863, when, after a 
prolonged controversy with the regents, arising 
mainly out of differences as to the prerogatives 
of his office, he was removed. His place was 
filled by the appointment of Rev. Erastus O. 
Haven, D.D., who in turn, upon resigning, was, 
(after an interval during which Dr. Frieze was 
acting president) followed by the present able 
and estimable incumbent Dr. James B. Angell. 
During Dr. Tappan's administration, the Univer- 
sity was more completely organized, several 
important changes were devised to enlarge and 
vary its courses of study, and it made great 
advancement. An observatory was contributed by 
private subscriptions, chiefly by his procurement, 
and the library, museums, and other accessaries, 
were increased and improved. His plans were 
liberal, and his aims were very high. The Uni- 
versity has been conducted in the main according 
to the views with which he had planned to con- 
duct its scholastic courses, and its success is 
largely due to his liberal ideas. The unpleasant 

Chap. XVI.] 


difficulties which terminated in a change of presi- 
dents, necessarily led to much controversy and 
heat, amonor those who did not view them in the 
same way, nor understand all the facts alike. 

In 1859, the law department was added, which 
completed the original scheme. Its principal aim 
is to teach the law in its various branches as now 
developed in this country from a common-law 
origin, historically and scientifically as well as 
practically. Its success has been satisfactory, and 
its pupils, who have been received from all parts 
of North America, as well as occasionally from 
foreign parts, have furnished their fair proportion 
of men of note, and successful lawyers. The 
faculty first chosen consisted of Thomas M. Cooley, 
Charles I. Walker and James V. Campbell, all of 
whom were then or since on the State bench. 
Judge Cooley has become eminent as a legal 
author. Judge Walker has, in addition to profes- 
sional eminence, rendered great public services in 
various departments of social science and philan- 
thropic labors and researches, and has exceptional 
familiarity with the history of the Northwest. 
Professors Pond, Kent and Wells are also dis- 
tinguished and scholarly lawyers. 

The University fund, in 1837, received a loan 
from the State by an advance of $100,000 of 
bonds, the proceeds of which were used in build- 
ing and other preliminary outlays. Interest on 
this had been deducted annually from the income 
of the fund. By a transfer to the State of the 


property in Detroit, now occupied by the city 
hall, and by the sale of a large amount of lands 
for interest-bearing State warrants which were 
cancelled, this debt had been reduced, and probably 
more than paid ; but, either from misapprehension, 
or as was claimed, from a re-statement of the 
account, this interest, after the removal of the 
Capital and the re-organization of the State offices 
at Lansing, re-appeared as an annual charge, to 
its full original amount of six per cent, on 
5^100,000. The Legislature of 1853, without at- 
tempting to settle the obscure facts, directed a 
remission of the interest for two years, which was 
afterwards made permanent. In 1867, a tax was 
authorized in aid of the University, of one- 
twentieth of a mill on the dollar, which has since 
been continued, under a limitation that it shall not 
exceed $50,000 before the year 1881, when a new 
equalization of assessments will be made. In 1871, 
Governor Baldwin urged the claims of the Univer- 
sity very strongly upon the Legislature, and an 
appropriation was made to build a central univer- 
sity hall, which has since been completed. Gover- 
nor Bagley was instrumental in procuring further 
appropriations to complete the hall, and meet other 
pressing necessities. 

The position of this institution, which is a 
necessary part of the system of public education, 
and which has been, nevertheless, mainly fostered 
by the United States endowment, will undoubtedly 
secure it liberal treatment in the future, and 


place it, where it ought to be, as a thoroughly 
State institution, necessary to State prosperity, 
and entitled to the same liberal support which is 
due to all public instrumentalities that serve high 
and useful purposes. 

There have been some subjects of warm dis- 
cussion which are now mostly settled. For 
many years a desire was felt by those who 
approve the homoeopathic system of medicine, and 
who compose a considerable body of citizens 
represented in the Legislature, to have provision 
made for instruction in their tenets. The diffi- 
culty of introducing opposing systems into the 
same institution prevented for several years a 
pleasant solution of the question. By establishing 
a separate school at the University for teaching 
the views of homoeopathy, so far as they do not 
harmonize with other medical teachings, and by 
taking away from every professor any danger of 
responsibility for views which he does not approve, 
all reasonable grround for trouble seems to be 
removed, and justice is done to both systems. 

The education of women in the University was 
also introduced after long doubting. When the 
controversy first arose, the Michigan University 
was found to differ from most of the colleges in 
the country in furnishing no rooms or boarding- 
facilities to students. These were all expected to 
procure board and lodging for themselves, and re- 
sort to the University only for the purposes of 
attending recitations, lectures, and public exercises, 


or for consulting books in the library. The 
adverse views of nearly all the other college facul- 
ties did not take this into the account. Most of 
the objections urged against the education of 
women and men in the same classes were theore- 
tical, and many were inapplicable to such a state 
of things as existed in Ann Arbor. The exper- 
iment was one which could not have been long 
postponed without creating worse difficulty, and 
it was felt that if it failed, after a fair trial, it 
could not at any rate do any serious harm to try 
it. The branches of the University had female 
scholars, and our union and high schools had 
found no trouble in teaching them. The exper- 
iment has been entirely successful. The ladies 
who have entered the University have been equal 
in all respects to their tasks, and have not been 
kept behind by either mental or physical dis- 
abilities. They have been treated with delicate 
respect by their associates, and have been entirely 
independent of any unwelcome companionship. 
The learning which sat so gracefully on Lady 
Jane Grey and Mrs. Somerville, and did not pre- 
vent the fair Professors of Bologna from possess- 
ing any of the feminine accomplishments, cannot 
unsex their successors now, and is as wholesome 
and harmless discipline, to those who choose it, 
as any other pursuit can be. And if there are 
men who think unworthily of women, or women 
who deserve no admiration, neither of them are likely 
to fall into such unworthiness in the pursuit of 


sound learning. The accomplishments which pro- 
duce no refinement are not those of the college 
class room. 

The admission of women to the study of 
medicine has been so admirably approved by its 
results, that all who are not prejudiced beyond 
reason perceive how much has been gained by it. 

There is one decided advantage among female 
students. None go into any of the departments 
of a university for the mere name of it. There 
are no attractions for any but those who wish to 
improve their faculties. It is not likely they will 
ever attend in as large numbers as men. But 
those who do enter will probably — as they cer- 
tainly have done heretofore — keep fully even with 
their classes. 

In 1855, the first steps were taken towards 
establishing a separate place of detention for 
young offenders. It has gone through different 
experiences, and has not been uniformly managed. 
In many cases, courts and magistrates have 
apparently lost sight of the rules of law which 
prohibit the punishment of children as criminals 
until they have reached years of discretion, and 
have allowed them to be convicted of crime when 
it was wickedly absurd to hold them to any such 
responsibility, and was in plain violation of ele- 
mentary rules of law. The gentlemen who have 
had the duty of managing the institution have 
been usually humane men, and have devoted 
time and patience to bringing good from the 


system. As at present conducted, it is likely to 
lead to important results. Such establishments 
are curses instead of blessings, when they fall 
into any but benevolent and patient hands ; and 
when they are made to follow the analogies of 
prisons, they present the shocking and cruel 
anomaly of punishing those who, if responsible at 
all, are only lightly responsible, more severely 
and for longer periods than old offenders. And 
what is still worse, they put trifling misdemeanors 
on the same footing with deliberate murder. 
Whatever benefits have been derived from this ' 
system have been due to the personal interven- 
tion of its managers and of the State executive. 
Its legal position, without this, leaves room 
enough for gross abuses. When first organized 
it simply provided a separate place of confine- 
ment for persons sentenced, when under fifteen 
years of age, — leaving the duration of each sen- 
tence to be governed by the general laws. Now 
the punishment for all juvenile offenders under i6 
is by seclusion until they reach their majority, 
unless discharged by the Board; so that in the 
ordinary course of things, unless interfered with, 
the youngest children undergo the longest term 
of punishment. Until this becomes legally and * 
entirely — what it has been made partially in good 
hands — an asylum and not a prison, its position 
cannot but be regarded as dangerously peculiar. 

A most valuable and humane scheme was 
adopted in 1871, under the recommendation of 

Chap. XVI.] CHARITIES. 56 I 

Governor Baldwin, whereby much wiser provision 
is made for die prevendon of juvenile depravity. 
A law was then passed to establish a State Public 
School, for dependent and neglected children. 
This is fixed at Coldwater ; and the plan, which 
has been well devised and carefully put in execu- 
tion under the personal care of Governors 
Baldwin and Bagley, is apparently judicious, and 
well adapted to promote the welfare of the neg- 
lected young persons who are thus snatched from 
vicious surroundings. The appointment of State 
agencies to look after the cases of children 
charged with crime, and see that they are 
humanely and wisely dealt with, has added great 
safeguards against mischief. 

A commission was also organized in 1871 for 
the general supervision of penal, pauper, and 
reformatory institutions, including also the asylums 
for the deaf and dumb, blind and insane. Hons. 
Charles I. Walkei% Heniy W. Lord, Z. R. Brock- 
zuay and Uzziel Putnam as commissioners, with 
the efficient services of Hon. Charles M. Croszuell 
as secretary, and with the active aid and sympathy 
of the executive, have already done great and 
good service in their beneficent mission. The 
progress of the State in works of benevolence 
and mercy, under the leading of its last and pre- 
sent Governors, has been very great, and creates 
a most honorable part of her history. More work 
of this sort has been done within the last eight 
years than in all her previous experience. It was 


contemplated by the founders of the State, and 
not neglected ; but within the last few years both 
education and humanity have received much more 
attention, and have been much more wisely and 
earnestly fostered than ever before. 

In 1859, an important change was made in 
criminal prosecutions. Under the Constitution of 
1850, grand juries had ceased to be obligatory, 
but had not been abolished. In 1857, a new 
criminal court was created in Detroit, and prose- 
cutions were allowed to be conducted in it by 
information. This change was introduced by 
Hon. Alexander W. Buel, who had principal 
charge of drawing up the charter. At the session 
of 1859, the same gentleman introduced a bill to 
extend the practice into all the circuit courts. 
This law allowed informations to be filed in all 
cases when there had been a regular preliminary 
examination, for felonies as well as misdemeanors. 
Thereafter grand juries did not act unless specially 
ordered and summoned. The effect of this change 
has not been bad in most cases. Nevertheless 
grand juries are seldom called unless at the re- 
quest of the Prosecuting Attorney. It is question- 
able whether any advantage has been gained 
beyond an apparent economy and — in some cases 
— an increase in expedition. The power left in 
the hands of prosecuting attorneys is not adequate- 
ly checked. A dishonest or timid attorney has 
too much opportunity to abuse his powers in both 
directions of prosecuting and abstaining from pro- 


secution. There is a strong temptation to corrup- 
tion. While the system of informing has been not 
unwisely extended, there is no question but that 
grand juries, properly organized, prevent much 
vexatious litigation, and cause to be pursued some 
classes of offenders who escape by the non-action 
of some prosecuting attorneys. Criminal justice 
ought to be beyond the control of any single 
official. Instances are not unknown of prosecuting 
attorneys who have not done credit to their offices. 
If grand juries were called oftener, justice would 
not suffer from it. 

During most of the existence of the State, the 
entire political control had been held, with respect- 
able majorities, by one or the other of the great 
parties — the Whigs or Democrats. The majority 
of the people had usually been decidedly opposed 
to allow^ing the encroachments of slavery beyond 
its legal limits, but as decidedly opposed to inter- 
fering with its vested rights. The Compromise of 
1850 was acquiesced in, although not in all respects 
approved. In May, 1854, the Missouri Com- 
promise was repealed, and this action aroused 
great feeling. Soon after, in the summer of 1854, 
a convention was called at Jackson, of delegates 
from the Whig and Free Soil parties, which re- 
sulted in the formation of the Republican party. 
In the election that year, Kinsley S. Bingham was 
elected Governor, and held the office two succes- 
sive terms, being succeeded by Moses Wisner. 
In 1859, Governor Bingham was elected United 


States Senator, to succeed Charles E. Stuart. 
Zachariah Chandler, who had been Whig can- 
didate for Governor in 1852, was elected to the 
Senate of the United States, to succeed General 
Cass, in 1857. General Cass was about the same 
time made Secretary of State under President 

The passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Acts was 
followed by a series of legislative resolutions, 
strongly censuring those who had voted for them, 
and insisting on the exclusion of slavery wher- 
ever within the control of the United States. At 
every session the questions were discussed, and 
the expression of opinion was uniform and decided. 

The feeling was increasing that trouble might 
arise from the slavery question, as the friends of 
that institution became aggressive. In 1859, steps 
were taken to make the State military system 
more effective, by organizing camps of instruction, 
and increasing the number of uniformed com- 
panies. Various gentlemen of military experience 
devoted time to making addresses and visiting 
the principal towns, to arouse a military spirit. 
Among those particularly energetic in this work was 
General Orlando B. Willcox, who, while discreetly 
avoiding all reference to the peculiar danger 
which he had recognized from his army experience, 
was quite successful in awakening popular feeling 
in favor of better preparation for such emergen- 
cies as might arise. In i860, when the signs of 
mischief were plainer, and the public feeling was 


Strongly aroused, Governor Austin Blair, who was 
on the same ticket with Mr. Lincoln, obtained a 
majority of more than 20,500 over Governor 
Barry, who was his only opponent. 

The Legislature of 1861, which was very 
strongly Republican, met under unfavorable cir- 
cumstances for State prosperity. John McKinney, 
the outgoing State Treasurer, was found to have 
embezzled the public funds, and left the treasury 
empty, and liable for large outstanding and press- 
ing debts. John Owen, the incoming Treasurer, 
at once made arrangements, by the use of his 
personal credit, whereby he kept the treasury in 
funds until provided from ordinary sources in due 
course of business, after a delay of some months. 
The Constitutional restraints on borrowing left 
no means of raising funds on bonds. This 
patriotic course saved the State credit, and enabled 
the State soon after, when a war-loan was needed, 
to borrow upon fair terms. 

The Legislature of 1861 was occupied, during 
a large part of the regular session, with the dis- 
cussion of the affairs of the Union ; and on the 
2d of February passed resolutions asserting the 
supremacy of the Union, and its right and duty 
to resist treason, and pledging the resources of 
the State in the public service. As soon as the 
Southern secession ordinances were passed, the 
Legislature directed the immediate raising of two 
regiments for service. 


Shortly thereafter the war opened by the 
attack on Fort Sumter, and Governor Blair at 
once raised a loan from private subscribers and 
beean to ororanize volunteers, — the first reo^iment 
called for by the general government being 
speedily equipped under the command of General 
Willcox. An extra session was called, which met 
in the beginning of May, and passed the neces- 
sary laws for raising money and troops. But 
before its meeting four regiments of infantry and 
a battery of flying artillery had gone into camp, 
and the First Regiment left for the seat of war 
on the 13th of May, fully armed and equipped, 
and was engaged in the unfortunate battle of 
Bull Run, where its colonel was wounded and 
captured, and afterwards detained in the Richmond 
prison as a hostage. From that time on, the 
State kept organizing and preparing troops in 
advance of the calls, from the United States, and 
was well sustained in its efforts. The military 
history of the State is honorable, and has been 
thoroughly and carefully prepared. It is only 
necessary here to say that its troops in the field 
numbered 90,747. of whom 67,486 were born in 
the United States; 8,887 in Canada; 8,453 in 
Great Britain; 4,872 in Germany, and 1,268 in 
other foreign dominions ; and that of these 13,405 
died in service. It would be invidious to single 
out names where all were honorable. The State 
furnished her full share of men in high as well 
as lesser commands, and her soldiers of all grades 


won a well deserved respect and renown for 
bravery and other good and soldierly qualities. 

Our own borders were somewhat annoyed by 
the gathering of Southern refugees and agents on 
the Canada side of the Detroit River. Reports, 
more or less founded in probability, were received 
from time to time of projected mischief. On the 
19th of September, 1864, the steamboat Philo 
Parsons left Detroit for Sandusky, taking on board 
at Sandwich and Amherstburg several persons 
with what was supposed to be baggage, but 
was really a supply of weapons. This expedition 
was intended to cooperate with another force 
designed to capture the armed steamer Michigan 
at Sandusky, to release the rebel prisoners at 
Camp Johnson near Sandusky, and then to com- 
mit depredations on the lake cities. The designs 
on the Michigan having failed, the Parsons was 
brought back to the Detroit River, and left at 
Sandwich in a sinking condition from various 
injuries. The mischief was arrested by timely 
action, and the vessel refitted. During the raid 
some other captures were made of United States 
soldiers and of the steamer Island Queen. On 
the failure of the plot at Sandusky, the persons 
on board the boats were safely landed, and no 
lives were taken. This was the only scheme 
which produced any actual damage, unless a few 
incendiary fires were set by some of the same 
parties, which is not absolutely known. 

5d8 governors BLAIR AND CRAPO. [Chap. XVI. 

From the opening of the war until the close 
of the year 1864, Austin Blair was Governor of 
Michigan, and performed his public duties with 
zeal and devotion, to the great prejudice of his 
private interests. During all that period his whole 
time was necessarily given up to the interests of 
the country, and almost entirely at his own ex- 
pense. The salary of $1,000 — a miserable pittance 
at any time — was made by war-prices, and the 
depreciation of currency, but a mere fraction of 
its ordinary value. The policy which prevents 
men of modest means from filling the offices 
of vState is not only poor economy, but con- 
trary to the cardinal principles of representative 

His successor, Governor Crapo, was also a 
very conscientious and valuable public servant, 
and his careful supervision saved the State from 
mismanagement in some of the multitudinous con- 
tracts which require almost the eyes of Argus to 
watch them. His great business experience and 
strict economy and integrity Induced him to give 
a degree of personal supervision to the details of 
road-building and other outlays, which was more 
than any one man could devote to such work 
without Injury to himself. His untimely death was 
owing to neglect of his health In attending to the 
details of public affairs. He no doubt carried 
this attention to details to excess, — as other persons 
could and should have borne a share of the 
burdens. It is not the duty of the chief executive 


to perform every variety of public service, and it 
is impossible to do it. But that sort of devotion is 
not so much to be deprecated, as it is to be 
praised, unless it prevents due attention to more 
peculiarly personal obligations, which it never did 
in Governor Crapo's case. Both he and Governor 
Blair were well seconded in most of the State 
business by competent heads of departments, and 
other assistants. 

In the year 1857, i^ pursuance of the Con- 
stitution, a separate Supreme Court was provided 
for, to be organized on the first of January, 1858. 
Its four terms were originally divided between 
Detroit and Lansing, but are now held entirely 
at Lansing. George Martin was the first chief 
justice, and Randolph Manning, Isaac P. Christi- 
ancy and James V. Campbell associate justices. 
Judge Martin was chief justice until his death, in 
December, 1867. After that time the office was 
made to fall upon the justice whose term was 
next to expire, so as to change every two years. 
Judge Manning died on the 31st of August, 1864, 
and was succeeded by Thomas M. Cooley, who, 
by repeated re-election is still on the bench. 
Benjamin F. Graves was elected in the place of 
Judge Martin, and is still in office by re-election. 
Judge Christiancy was elected to the United States 
Senate, in January, 1875, ^^^ Isaac Marston was 
chosen as his successor. Judge Campbell is yet 
a member of the court. 

This relieved the circuit judges of appellate 
duties. The circuits have been divided repeatedly 


and increased in number to twenty-one. The 
Upper Peninsula has been brought .within the 
circuit system. In 1859, provision was made 
there for county prosecuting attorneys, and the 
office of district attorney aboHshed. By some cu- 
rious manoeuvre, the act whose title was " An 
Act to abolish the office of District Attorney for 
the Upper Peninsula, and provide for the election 
of Prosecuting Attorneys of the several counties 
therein," while by the two earliest sections it 
made provision for the prosecuting attornies, con- 
tained a third section declaring that the office of 
district attorney should not be abolished. As 
under the Constitution no part of an act can be 
repugnant to its title, this created a muddle, 
which seems to have been supposed to need 
further legislation. It 1864, another law was 
passed abolishing the office without ambiguity. 

Governor Bingham was elected to the United 
States Senate in 1859, and died in office in 1861. 
In 1862, his place was filled by Jacob M. Howard, 
who was succeeded, in 1871, by Thomas W. 
Ferry, the present presiding officer of the Senate. 
Mr. Howard was a man of great force and intel- 
lectual resources, and was second to none ol his 
Senatorial associates in the qualities desirable lor 
his position. To vigorous and manly eloquence 
he united habits of laborious and profound 
research, and tenacity of purpose. His ability 
in the arraying of facts and discussion of evidence 
has seldom been equalled, and his great powers 
of reasoning were made more effective by a style 


which was weighty without losing its vivacity, and 
poHshed and enriched with learning, while entirely 
free from meretricious ornament. His death was 
a loss to the whole country. His colleague Mr. 
Chandler, the present Secretary of the Interior, 
obtained credit for his Senatorial services, espe- 
cially during the war, and was twice re-elected. 

The principal political occurrences during Gov- 
ernor Crapo's time were the attempted revision 
of the Constitution, and the contest which he 
carried on against the dangerous and unconstitu- 
tional attempts of the Legislature to authorize 
railroads to be subsidized by county and other 
municipal aid and taxation. The early experience 
of the State had induced the framers of the Con- 
stitution of 1850 to peremptorily confine the bus- 
iness of building works of internal improvement 
to private enterprise ; but for a time there 
appeared to be a notion that railroads could not 
be too dearly purchased, whether capable or not 
of any remunerative use, and contractors and 
builders, who were the only persons really bene- 
fitted in many cases, endeavored to saddle their 
schemes on the public treasuries. The plan was 
not only illegal, but as dangerous as most illegal 
schemes always turn out. The collapse of a 
majority of the secondary railroads has shown on 
a small scale the utter ruin that would have be- 
fallen the people if these attempts had gone as 
far as it was desired to drive them. These 
schemes were pushed through the Legislature 



against the opposition of the governors, who 
were called on to consider them, and the execu- 
tive objections were sustained by the Supreme 
Court, which held the laws void. Every constitu- 
tional amendment which has sought to validate 
them has been rejected. 

A Constitutional Convention was held in May 
1867, and its labors lasted through the summer. 
It was composed of able men of both parties, and 
its work was done carefully. The proposed con- 
stitution contained several new provisions, upon 
which there had been no popular agreement. It 
was defeated by an enormous majority, composed 
in great measure of the aggregate of the oppo- 
nents of single parts of the instrument, which were 
not all obnoxious to the same objectors. The 
same fate has befallen every attempt to submit 
amendments together and not separately. It is 
entirely manifest that the faults of the present 
Constitution are found in some of its details and 
specific provisions, and not in its general plan. 
Single amendments have passed and will probably 
pass hereafter on their own merits. But every 
one can now see that the people are not disposed 
to allow a good amendment to carry through one 
which they disapprove. Logrolling and swapping 
measures are more easily carried through select 
bodies, than through a popular election. 

The last attempt at revision was at the extra 
session of 1874. A commission selected by the 
Governor had sat during the previous year to 


devise amendments. They prepared a series of 
articles which amounted in effect to a revised con- 
stitution. The members were well chosen, with- 
out distinction of party, and many, if not most of 
their suggestions, were generally approved. Others 
were not as well received. Their work was 
adopted with some changes, by the Legislature, 
and submitted to the people as a whole, except 
as to a small portion voted on separately. This 
was also decisively rejected. In addition to other 
objections, which were probably the fatal ones, 
there was a feeling among many that the Legis- 
lative function of proposing amendments did not 
extend to framing a revision of the whole con- 
stitution, or of considerable parts of it, and that a 
constitutional convention should be representative 
and not appointed. Among other propositions, 
one to give the right of voting to women, was 
presented separately, and defeated by a large 

In 1863, the United States made large grants 
to the several States for agricultural and military 
education. The State of Michigan accepted the 
grant, and applied it in aid of the existing Agri- 
cultural College. This was thereby put on a 
better footing; and has become a useful institu- 
tion, with a promise of more utility in the future, 
as the value of the necessary preliminary experi- 
ments becomes more thoroughly tested. 

In 1859, the business of making salt began to 
assume importance. The discovery of rich wells, 


and the economy of connecting the work with the 
steam saw-mills, thus economising labor and fuel, 
led to the creation of a very extensive industry 
particularly on the Saginaw River. In some of 
the borings the discovery of mineral springs, valu- 
able for curative properties, has led to still more 
profitable results, and opened pleasant places of 

The extension of roads has facilitated the busi- 
ness of lumbering, and the country is being rap- 
idly despoiled of its pine and hardwood timber. 
The frequent prevalence of extensive fires has 
furnished some reason for the voluntary destruc- 
tion, for lumber, ol what might be otherwise lost. 
The year 1871, which witnessed the burning of 
Chicago, was peculiarly fatal to the northern 
woods, and immense tracts were rendered value- 
less, or greatly diminished in value by the fires. 
The rapid settlement of the Lower Peninsula has 
led to the removal of woods from the greater 
part of its southerly moiety, and the effect on 
climate and streams is very marked, and prejudi- 
cial. The moisture which was once retained by 
the vegetation and shade, and tempered the air, 
now runs off rapidly, and without soaking into the 
ground. Streams have dwindled and disappeared, 
and the country often suffers from drought, while 
it is believed to be much more exposed than 
formerly to extreme cold. 

Alter the war was over, and when the fever 
of speculation began to abate, the State setded 


down again to iquiet ways. Within the last ten 
years the pubHc interest has been more and more 
directed to things of permanent importance, and 
valuable executive suggestions have been carried 
out in the broad and liberal spirit which prompted 
them. Much more attention has been paid to 
education and philanthropy. New asylums have 
been planned, the University and other schools 
have been aided, prisons have been improved and 
remodelled, and progress has been made in the 
highest work of civilization. The State has be- 
come populous and wealthy, and able to carry out 
any proper schemes. 

In .1871, preparation was made for building a 
permanent Capitol. After much examination and 
reflection plans were adopted and contracts let. 
The corner stone was laid in 1873. A superin- 
tending board, consisting of Messrs. Shearer, 
Chapoton and Grosvenor, have had constant super- 
vision of the work, which will be finished in 1877. 
Mr. Myers, the architect, and Messrs. Osburn, the 
contractors, have planned and built thus far a 
beautiful and satisfactory building, in which no un- 
sound material has been placed, and into which 
all the funds appropriated have honestly entered. 
When other communities have been so badly 
cheated in such enterprises, it is certainly worth 
recording that Michigan has been served with 
strict integrity. 

The poverty of the State for many years made 
it necessary to use more than common economy 



In all Its expenditures. This necessity not only 
prevented the earlier building of a Capitol, but 
the accumulation of an adequate library. Some 
of the earlier purchases of books were very 
judicious and valuable, but neither space nor 
means existed for placing the library in proper 
condition. Since It has become certain that books 
if purchased will be preserved and made accessible, 
a great change has taken place, and the present 
collection Is already assuming importance. By a 
careful system of exchanges, the Law Library has 
become very complete in American Reports, and 
fairly supplied with other English and American 
publications, and Is constantly improving. The 
General Library is also advancing rapidly. Gover- 
nor Baldwin while in office ventured upon what 
was then the untried experiment, of appointing a 
lady, Mrs. Harriet A. Tenney, to be State Libra- 
rian. Her nomination was cheerfully ratified, and 
the choice has been abundantly justified by the 
result. The neatness and care with which the 
library room and its contents have been arranged 
and kept, and the quiet and decorum prevailing, 
are In themselves a great advantage, not always 
found in State libraries. The Librarian has shown 
a thorough knowledge of books and their selec- 
tion, and an enthusiastic desire to make her charge 
a literary treasury. A department of American 
antiquities, and valuable relics has also been 
planned, and some collections already made of 
documents, pictures, and other things of historical 


value, not least of which is the Roll of Honor of 
the Michigan Soldiers who died in the Rebellion. 
The wisdom of choosing a competent woman to 
such an office has been recotrnised in some other 
libraries in the State, which have also been for- 
tunate in securing the right persons to act for 
them. No one doubts that such places furnish 
appropriate and legitimate scope for feminine 
tact and accomplishments. 

There is one matter in which the State has 
no cause for self-gratulation. The Constitution of 
1850, instead of leaving official salaries to be de- 
termined by the Legislature, as changing circum- 
stances might require, fixed the pay of all the 
principal executive and judicial officers permanent- 
ly, and at very low rates. There are few il any 
of these persons who receive as large pay as their 
own subordinates, or who can afford to devote 
their whole time to their official duties. It is re- 
markable that this state of things has not led to 
greater mischiefs than have befallen the common- 
wealth from it. Since Mr. McKinney's time the 
ti*easury has been in the hands of competent and 
wealthy men, whose services have been practically 
almost gratuitous, but have been faithful and valu- 
able. The Auditor General's office has been, so 
far as is known, entirely above suspicion. The 
management of public lands has on some occa- 
sions been questioned. Frauds have been com- 
mitted against the State by persons purchasing 
lands, and it has been imagined that they were 



not committed without the misconduct of some 
one in the department. The impeachment of Mr. 
Edmunds, the Commissioner, in 1872, while it was 
not followed by his own conviction upon charges 
of crime, indicated that there had been a course 
of business in the office which was not conducted 
on proper business principles, and which needed, 
as it has received, amendment. The penurious 
system which prevailed prevented that thorough 
and systematic management imperatively required 
by so important a branch of the public service, 
and the property squandered very much exceeds 
the money saved. In general the incumbents 
have rendered good service without adequate pay. 
But it is not good policy to make it difficult for 
a faithful officer to hold office without great per- 
sonal loss. Where the fixing of salaries has been 
left to the Legislature, they have never been ex- 
travagant. The disposition to suspect Legislative 
bodies of liability to sinister influences in such 
matters is absurd. If corruption is dreaded, and 
if they are not to be trusted where it is possible, 
they may as well be abolished at once. The 
general power of legislation affords infinitely more 
room for misconduct than that which relates to a 
few offices. When the representatives of the 
people are to be presumed unfit for their respon- 
sibilities, republican government must cease. It 
cannot exist without honesty, and it must be pre- 
sumed, as it is true, that honesty is usually to be 
found. The wisest constitutional restrictions are 


intended to prevent haste and misjudgment, and 
honestly intended encroachments tempted by pe- 
culiar circumstances. They seldom, if ever, are 
designed to indicate a distrust in personal integrity. 
It is very much to be hoped that the people will 
soon become convinced that honest work should 
be honesdy paid, and that a generous confidence, 
rationally guarded, is safer as well as more cred- 
itable than perpetual distrust. 

This year, of so much interest to the people 
of the United States, finds Michigan furnishing a 
hopeful illustration of the results of the experiment 
made a hundred years ago. She was then 
governed by martial law, with few people, and but 
one civil settlement. For twenty years after the 
Declaration of Independence, she remained under 
British control, and was intended to be reserved 
as a refuge for savages and a haunt of beasts of 
the chase. A few years later she fell again for a 
short time under the same governance, as much 
to the surprise of the captors, as to the disgust 
and rage of the surrendered. But with the re- 
capture came the beginning of progress. Multi- 
tudes of the Revolutionary patriots and of their 
children came westward, to enjoy the inheritance 
earned by the struggle for independence. The 
laws and customs of the new land were fresh 
copies of those of the older colonies, changed 
only where change was needed. In every village 
churches and schools stood foremost in the estima- 
tion of the people, and ignorance, idleness and 
immorality, were under the ban. 

580 PAST AND I^ESENT. [Chai-. XVI. 

The beginning of our existence as a- State was 
rendered unfortunate by the mistaken notion that 
wealth and capital could be made up out of con- 
fidence, instead of patient industry. The land was 
rich and lay directly in the pathway to the further 
west, where the unerring instincts of our wander- 
ing race have always led them in search of em- 
pire. The future was sure, but too uncertain in 
date to be wisely discounted. No one then 
dreamed of the shortening of time and space by 
improved railways and telegraphs, nor was there 
any confidence in the quick passage of the ocean 
by steam, whereby it has become possible to 
crowd and multiply immigration faster than the 
country can absorb it. And yet in a vague way 
the hopes of the new settlements kept up with all 
the possibilities. 

Many people are yet living who remember 
well the whole course of the Territory. Very 
many more are familiar with all the fortunes of 
the State. The population which would not have 
crowded a large village has now extended beyond 
a million and a third. The improved lands ex- 
ceed five and a half millions of acres, and there 
are more than 113,000 farms occupied almost 
entirely by owners and not by tenants. Besides 
agricultural products, the products of industry in- 
clude lumber, copper and iron, and all the shapes 
in which they may be wrought, as well as sugar, 
fish, salt, and an infinite variety of manufactured 
articles. The railroads in the State exceed 3,700 


miles, at a cost of more than 140 millions of 
dollars, in view of which the five million loan, 
which was such an incubus on the State, appears 
very insignificant. The ordinary school houses re- 
present a value of ^^9,000,000, and the annual 
school expenditures approach $3,500,000. The 
bonded debt of the State is less than $1,600,000 
— less than $1.20 for each person. 

During the whole period of the State existence 
there has been unbroken peace with her neigh- 
bors, and, since her admission into the Union, no 
quarrel with any other State. No capital sentence 
has been executed during this time. There has 
been no general famine, and no very fatal epidemic. 
Political rancor has not degenerated into treason 
or sedition, and serious riots have been rare and 
confined with narrow bounds. Only one State 
officer has been convicted of malversation in office, 
and only one more has been put upon his trial. 

The people are thoroughly American in their 
habits and sympathies, attached to their State and 
attached to the Union. They have gained their 
prosperity by constitutional liberty, and they re- 
cognise in the preservation and enforcement of 
constitutions and laws their best safeguards 
against the dangers that beset a civilized com- 



Abhott, Edward, Commander at Vin- 
cennes, 173. 

Abbott, James, on committee of tra- 
ders to prevent sales of liquor, 164; 
James, his son, Judge of Common 
IMeas, 251. 

Abbott, Robert, Auditor General, 348 ; 
State Treasurer, 399. 

Absolute system of French government, 
5, 77, 171 ; of English after the con- 
quest of Canada, 132, 156. 

Acadians, 108, 117. 

Adams, armed vessel captured at De- 
troit at surrender, 281; recaptured 
as the '' Detroit," 336. 

Aigremont, Clerambaut d', reports on 
Detroit, 61, 65, 68, 75. 

Aikins, Captain In British army, be- 
friends American prisoners, 349. 

Akansas, tribe visited by Joliet, 30. 

Albany traders at Detroit, 116. 

Allen, Lieutenant Colonel, killed at 
Frenchtown, 338, 342. 

Allouez, Father, 12. 

Amherst, Sir Jeffrey, 116, [29. 

Amikoue or Beaver Indians, at Beaver 
Islands, 547. 

Ancrum, Major William, commanding 
at Detroit : dealings with the Mo- 
ravians, 187. 

Anderson, Colonel John, Michigan of- 
ficer, 242, 305. 

Anderson, Lieutenant John, at surren- 
der of Detroit, 300, 309. 

Angell, James B (LL.D.), President 
of University, 554. 

Anioton, an Indian chief, 102. 

Anthon, Dr. George Christian, receives 
grant from Pontiac, 120, 140. 

L'Arbre Croche, an Indian settlement, 
94; good character of people, 94, 
119, 517. 

Armistice in War of 1612, 323, 325. 

Askin, John, befriends the Moravians, 
187; engages in plan to secure con- 
trol of Michigan, 199; retains Brit- 
ish allegiance, 200. 

Askin, John, Junior, at capture of 
Mackinaw, 283. 

Asylums, 515, 531, 574. 

Atasson or Ottason, Schiettiin's name, 
201 n. 

Atiochiarontiong, (one of the forms of 
Taochiarontiong, or Teuchsa Gron- 
die), a Huron name tor the region 
about Detroit and Lake ?'rie, 37, 48, 

Atvvater, Reuben, Territorial Secretary, 
238 ; warns Hull of danger, 276. 

Audrain, Peter, a public officer at De- 
troit, 350-1. 



Baby, Colonel Francis, of Canada, 
195 ; ransoms American prisoners, 


Baggattaway, an Indian game of ball, 
used as a device to enter Mackinaw 
in 1763, 121; attempted at Detroit, 

Bailey, Lewis E., his horse, 448. 

Bagley, John J., Governor"^ of Michi- 
gan, 545, 556 

Baker, Ensign, story of his adventures 
after Battles of Frenchtown, 348. 

Baldwin, Henry P., Governor of Mich- 
igan, 545, 556, 561, 576. 

Ball-play at Shawnee village between 
Indians and squaws, 210. 

Bank of Detroit chartered, but annulled 
by Congress, 244. 

Bank of Michigan chartered, 400. 

Banking system of Michigan carried 
to excess, 489-492, 513. 

Barclay, Captain, defeated by Perry, 


Barre, Governor de la, friendly to set- 
tlements, 41 ; controversy with Don- 
gan, 42. 

Barrow, Captain, of British army, be- 
friends American prisoners, 349. 

Barry, John S , Governor, 515, 531,545. 

Barstow, Samuel, 512. 

Bassett, Major Henry, British Com- 
mander, 149, 150, 152. 

Bates, Frederick, Territorial Judge, 
237; Secretary and Governor of 
Missouri, 239. 

Battle of Bloody Run, 129; of Tippe- 
canoe, 260 ; of River Raisin, 338, 
344; of Fort Meigs, 357; of Fort 
Stephenson, 360 ; of Lake Erie, 367 ; 
of the Thames, 371. 

Bayard, Major Robert, British Com- 
mander, establishes courts, 141, 142. 

Beauharnois, Charles, Marquis de. 
Governor General, grants lands at 
Detroit, 88, 89, 90. 

Beauvais de Tilly, goes with Tonty to 
Seneca campaign, 45. 

Beavers in Upper Canada and Michi- 
gan, 48, 58 

Beaver Island, Mormon kingdom there, 

547, 549- 

Bellestre (or Belletre), Francois Marie 
Piquote de : his property in De- 
troit, 60, 63, 145 ; accompanies In- 
dian chiefs to Quebec, and returns 
with De la Richardie, loi ; last 
French Commander at Detroit, 109, 

Bellefontaine, or Springwells, 297. 

Belle He, above Detroit, formerly He a 
Ste. Claire, and He aux Cochons, 
124; Fisher murdered there by In- 
dians, 125; granted to George Mc- 
Dougall, 170. 

Beneworth, James, engraver, 489. 

Biddle, Major John : contributor to 
historical sketches, 422 ; delegate to 
Congress, 398; candidate for Senate, 

Bigot, Intendant : his misconduct and 
conviction, 92. 

Big Siiake joins Harrison, 362. 

Bingham, Kinsley S., Governor, 515, 
545, 563; Senator, 563-4, 570. 

Bird, Captain Henry, makes incursion 
into Kentucky, 181. 

Black Hawk War, 436. 

Black Hoof joins Harrison, 362. 

Blair, Austin, Governor, 545, 565, 568 

Blood, Dr., wounded at Detroit, 300. 

Bloody Run, massacre of, 129. 

Bluejacket, Shawnee chief: his village 
and doings there, 210. 

Bois-blanc Island of Detroit River, 59; 
headquarters of Hurons, 99; mission 
removed to Sandwich, 10 1 ; dispute 
as to its nationality, 228 ; Tecum- 
seh's headquarters, 369 ; forest re- 
moved in Patriot War, 511. 

Boish6bert, Captain, French Comman- 



dant, favors settlement at Detroit, 
89, 90 ; authorizes mill to be built, 

Boone, Daniel, captive at Detroit, 175 ; 
attacked by British, ih. 

Boundary disputes : on the lakes, 2 ; 
at Bois-blanc, 229 ; on southern bor- 
der, 209, 231, 433, 444-448, 449-463, 

Bounties to industries, 493. 

Bounty lands : Michigan reported un- 
fit for them, 379, 380. 

Bourgmont, Commander of Detroit in 
Cadillac's absence, is attacked by 
Indians, 67 n. 

Bradstreet, Colonel, visits Detroit and 
makes treaty, 130, 131. 

Brady, Fort, at Sault Ste. Marie : Cass 
obtains Indian cession for, 404 ; in- 
terferes with ship canal, 502. 

Brandy traffic at Mackinaw and De- 
troit, 64, 65, 85. 

Brant encouraged by the British against 
the Americans, 191, 257. 

Brevoort, (Major and Commodore) 
Henry B., 366, 368. 

British conquer Canada and occupy 
Detroit, 109, iii; early endeavors 
to get a foothold in Michigan, 29, 39, 
42, 43, 51 ; Roseboom and McGre- 
gory expeditions captured, 43 ; Iro- 
quois cession, 56 ; govern Michigan 
by martial law, 132, 156, 162; pass 
Quebec Act, 153 ; send expeditions 
from Detroit in Revolution, 172, 174, 

181 ; retain posts in violation of 
treaty, 189; excite Indians against 
Americans, 192; give up the posts 
in 1776, 197; subsidize Indians, 257, 
401, 406; take Detroit, 302; occu- 
pation and re-surrender, Chap. XII. 

Brock, General Sir Isaac, takes De- 
troit, 301 ; is knighted, 336 ; killed, 

Brown, Dr. Wm., 350, 351, 356. 

Brown County, 388. 

Brownstown, battle of, 287, 289. 

Brush, Colonel Elijah, Attorney Gen- 
eral, 219; mystifies the court, ib.; 
colonel of militia, 242 ; commands 
regiment during War of 1812, 321 ; 
aids prisoners, 350; banished by 
Proctor, 356. 

Brush, Captain Henry, endeavors to 
take supplies to Detroit, 287, 296 ; 
refuses to surrender, 305 ; vindicated 
by court martial, 306. 

Buckongahelas, a Delaware chief: af- 
fairs at his village, 210. 

Buffaloes common in Michigan, 1 13. 

Bull, George H., botanist, 4S8. 

Burnet, Judge Jacob, 210. 

Burr's conspiracy leads to special leg- 
islation, 264. 

Burt, William A., inventor of the solar 
compass, 527-8. 

Burtis, Captain John, introduces horse 
and steam ferries, 413, 414. 

Bushlopers or bushrangers, 14, 16, 52. 

Cadarachqui or Cadaraqui, a name 
y of Lake Ontario, 52, 56. 

Cadillac, Antoine de la Motte, Lord of 
Bouaquat and Mont Desert, a prom- 
inent officer, 50; desires to fortify 
the Strait, 5 1 ; visits France and ob- 
tains authority, 52,53; builds Fort 
Pontchartrain, 54, 59 ; career at De- 
troit, Chap, v.; his character, 64; 

made Governor of Louisiana, 76 ; 
descendants, 80. 

Cadotte, Monsieur, interpreter at Sault 
Ste. Marie, in. 

Caledonia, British man-of-war, captur- 
ed at Fort Erie, 281, 336; used in 
attack on Mackinaw, 283 ; one of 
Perry's fleet, 367. 

Calli^res, Louis Hector de. Governor 



of New France, 56 ; confers with 
Iroquois about Detroit, 55 ; unjust 
to Cadillac, 67. 

Campau, Joseph, occupies place of 
Cadillac's house, 62. 

Campau, Charles, builds water-mill, 90. 

Campbell, Donald, Captain and Major 
in 60th Royal Americans, first Brit- 
ish Commander of Detroit, 116; 
visits Pontiac's camp, 127; murder- 
ed by Saginaw chief Wasson, 128. 

Campbell, John, Colonel, and Com- 
mander at Detroit, took part in 
Croghan's negotiations with Indians, 
139; repaired fort, 140; levied 
taxes, 141. 

Campbell, James V., Judge, 569 ; law 
professor, 555. 

Canada or New France, included Mich- 
igan, 3 ; conquered by Great Britain, 
109 ; governed by royal proclama- 
tion, 132 ; brought under Quebec 
Act, 153, 155; divided into Upper 
and Lower Canada, 194 ; invaded by 
Hull, 278; disaffection caused by 
proclamation, 279, 321, 322, 326; 
evacuated by Hull, 290 ; invaded by 
Harrison, 269. 

Canada Company control trade at De- 
troit. 66. 

Cannon captured in Revolution, re- 
captured at Detroit, and again re- 
taken at the Thames, 336. 

Canoes : their size fixed for trading 
purposes, 74, 401. 

Capital punishment inflicted by Judge 
Dejean, 166; abolished, 524. 

Capital of Michigan removed to Lan- 
sing, 533- 

Capitol building at Detroit, 410; at 
Lansing, 575. 

Carantouan, whether the same as Kar- 
ontaen, 37. 

Carheil, Father, missionary at Mack- 
inaw, 64. 

Carignan Regiment, 27. 

Carleton, Sir Guy, (Lord Dorchester), 
157; establishes courts, 159; makes 
appointments at Detroit, 161 ; gives 
land to tory refugees, 194 ; encour- 
ages Indians, 191, 194. 

Carts, fashionable vehicles in Detroit, 

Cass, Lewis, (Colonel and General) : 
meeting with Judge Sibley, 218; el- 
ected colonel of volunteers, 274 ; 
defeats British at Canard River, but 
is prevented by Hull from moving 
on Maiden, 279 ; sent away with Mc- 
Arthur before surrender of Detroit, 
297 ; reports facts at Washington, 
329 ; promoted, 330 ; in Harrison's 
army, 371 ; his brigade left at Sand- 
wich, ib.; volunteer aid in Battle of 
the Thames, 372 ; Governor of 
Michigan, 376; his administration, 
Chap. XIII.; advanced political 
views, 392, 413 ; expedition to sour- 
ces of the Mississippi, 400; gallant 
conduct at Sault Ste. Marie, 403 ; 
expedition with Colonel McKenney, 
414 ; made Secretary of War, 419 ; 
literary and social surroundings, 420 ; 
Senator, 536 ; Secretary of State, 564. 

Catholepistemiad, 385. 

Cattle at Detroit, 61, 86. 

Cavelier, {sec La Salle), Monsieur, 
brother of La Salle, defrauds the 
Chevalier de Tonty, 46. 

Celoron, Commander at Detroit, 93, 99. 

Census of Canada. 69; of Michigan, 
234, 442. 

Chabert de Joncaire, the Chevalier 
Frangois, influential with the Sene- 
cas, 114; suspected by British, 147 ; 
delegate from Wayne County in As- 
sembly of Northwest Territory, 114, 

Chacornacle, a lieutenant of Cadillac, 

Chambers, Major, sent by Brock to 
raise forces to relieve Maiden, and 
fails to obtain them, 279, 287, 322. 



Champlain, said to have known the 
Strait, lo. 

Chancery, Court of, 480; abolished, 
480, 522. 

Chandler, Zachariah, Senator, 564, 571. 

Chaplain, duties of, devolved on mili- 
itary officers, 179, 204. 

Chapoton, a French citizen, communi- 
cates with Pontiac, 127. 

Charlevoix, Father, the historian, 4 ; 
visits Detroit, 86. 

Chaudiere, a name of Lake Ste. Claire, 

Chegoimegon, mission at, 12. 

Chemin du Ronde, the road next to the 
pickets at Detroit, 60. 

Chene, Captain Isidore, of Detroit, at- 
tempts to capture Daniel Boone, 175. 

Chicago massacre, 293, 295, 305. 

Chiery, a monopolist at Detroit, 88. 

Chillicothe, made capital of Northwest 
Territory, 222 ; discontent and riots, 

China, supposed to be accessible, 21. 

Chipman, Henry, Territorial Judge, 
410, 435. 

Chippewa (or Ojibway) Indians, fiercer 
than Ottawas, 119; destroy the 
Mackinaw garrison, 121 ; allow Mo- 
ravians to settle at Clinton River, 

Cholera at Detroit, 437-8, 441. 

Christiancy, Isaac P., Judge, 569 ; 
Senator, ib. 

Churches organized, 396-7; Sail.; 
Anne's, 81, 255, 398, 387. 

Cincinnati, capital of Northwest Ter- 
ritory, 222. 

Clark, George Rogers, captures Vin- 
cennes and Kaskaskia, 174, 176; 
sends Governor Hamilton and others 
prisoners to Virginia, 176. 

Clay, General Green, at Fort Meigs, 

Clinton River, formerly Huron, 184, 
412. , 

Colbert, offers rewards for discovery, 

29 ; checks clerical powers, ib. 
Golden, Cadwallader, plans against 

Detroit, 108. 
Colonial absolutism, 5 ; contrasted 

with common-law system, 106, 134, 

171 ; colonial industry encouraged 

by France, 106. 
Combs, General Leslie, captain and 

scout at Fort Meigs, 358; runs the 

gauntlet, ib. 
Commanders at Detroit : their names, 

93 ; their privileges, 87, 97. 
Commission of charities, 561. 
Compiled Laws, 542. 
Concessions of land, 71, 79, 90. 
Conges or trade licenses, 25, 69, 
Connor, Richard, with Moravians, 187. 
Connor, Henry, an interpreter, 187. 
Constantine, Father, a missionary, 

killed, 67 71. 

Constitution of Michigan of 1835, 462, 
538; of 1850, 539, 540, 544, 571, 

Constitutional commission and its fail- 
ure, 573. 

Contencinau, Jean, executed at Detroit 
by order of Dejean, 166, 

Conti, Princess of, a patroness of 
1'onty, 33. 

Convention to form constitution, 462 ; 
to consider conditions of admission, 
475; Frost-bitten, 477; second con- 
stitutional, 539 ; third constitutional, 

Cooley, Thomas M., Judge, 569, 555; 

compiles Statutes, 542. 
Copper mines on Lake Superior, 147, 

148, 529. 
Corporation laws, 538. 

Corrigenda: page 197, line 21, for 
"administration" read "admiration"; 
page 326, line 8, for 'Messon" read 

Council of Northwest Territory, 208 ; 
of Michigan, i, 409, 411-13, 416. 


1 K D E X. 

County of Wayne established, 205 ; 
the only county until Cass's admin- 
istration, 262 ; re-established, 382 ; 
counties organized, 382, 383, 388, 

407, 433, 547, 570. 
County commissioners, 389, 509 ; 

county officers made elective, 413 ; 

county systems, 425, 509. 
Coureurs de bois, or bushrangers, 14, 

15, 25, 40, 50, 52. 

Courtcmanche, a French officer, 39. 

Courts : none under the French, 78 ; 
created by military commanders, 
141 ; in Upper Canada and Michigan 
under the British, 159, 161, 194; in 
Northwest Territory, 205 ; in Mich- 
igan Territory, 240, 250, 262, 410, 
463 ; in the State of Michigan, 
Chaps. XV. and \M I. passim. 

Craig, Sir James, Governor General of 
Canada, warns the United States 
against Tecumseh, 259 ; sends John 
Henry to intrigue in New England 
for disunion, 259. 

Crapo, Henry H., Governor, 541, 568, 

Crary, Isaac E,, first Representative, 


Crawford County (Wisconsin), 388. 

Croghan, Colonel George, British 
agent, 120, 139. 

Croghan, Major George, heroic defence 
of Fort Stephenson, 360. 

Cuillerier, Alexis, wrongly convicted, 
and vindicated, 125. 

Currency, paper and miscellaneous ar- 
ticles, 262, 384-5. 

Curtish, Captain, of the British army, 
befriends American prisoners, 349. 


Dalltba, James, Captain of Artillery, 
prevented from firing on the British 
batteries by Hull, 296-7. 

Dalzell (or Dalyell), Captain, arrives 
at Detroit, 129; killed at Bloody 
Run, 130. 

Davis, Jefferson, custodian of Black 
Hawk, 436. 

Dejean, Philip, appointed Judge, 141, 
162; condemns prisoners to death, 
166; peculiar relations with Gover- 
nor Hamilton, 170; captured at Vin- 
cennes and made close prisoner in 
Virginia, 176. 

Delaware Indians, friendly to United 
States, 260. 

Delegates to Congress, 398. 

Delietto, Sieur, commanding at Fort 
St. Louis, 47, 81. 

DeMuy, Commander at Detroit, 93, 97. 

Denison, Elizabeth and Scipio, held as 
slaves, 246. 

Denny, James, Major of Volunteers in 
Hull's army, 274. 

Denonville, Governor of New France, 
asserts title to Michigan, 42. 

Department of the Marine, contains 
many records, 5. 

DePeyster, Arent Schuyler, (Major and 
Colonel), Commander at Mackinaw : 
sends aid to Hamilton, 174; suc- 
ceeds to command at Detroit, 178 et 
seq.\ character, 179; friend of Burns 
and commander of his regiment, ib. 

Dequindre, Fontenay, has titres de 
noblesse, 212. 

Dequindre, Antoine, Captain in Legion, 
at Monguagon, 321 ; receives thanks 
of the Legislature, ib. 

Deschaillons de St. Ours, Commander 
at Detroit, 93. 

Deserters kidnapped by British officers, 

Desnoyelles, Commander at Detroit, 


Desnoyers, Peter J., banished by Proc- 
tor, 356. 

Desnoyers, Peter, State Treasurer, ib. 



Detroit : Le Detroit, or the Strait, dis- 
covered early, lo ; passed by Joliet, 
23 ; visited by Dollier and Galinee, 
ib.\ by La Salle in the Griffin, 35 ; 
Teuchsa Grondie, Taochiarontiong, 
Karontaen, 37; fortified by DuLuth 
at Fort St. Joseph, 43 ; Tonty's ren- 
dezvous, 44, 45 ; capture of English 
parties, 45 ; efforts of English and 
Iroquois to control the passage, 48 ; 
place of city known as Wawyachte- 
nok or Waweatanong, 5 1 ; Cadillac 
authorized to establish a town, 53, 
54; ^ort Pontchartrain, 54, 59; af- 
fairs under Cadillac, Chap. V.; Brit- 
ish intrigues with Iroquois and ces- 
sion, 56 ; Indian attacks, 67 ; siege 
of 1712, 81; projected massacre of 
1747, loi ; supplies furnished during 
English war, 108; fort enlarged, 107 ; 
surrendered to British, 109 ; descrip- 
tion, 112, 212, 224; new fort built 
(Fort Lernoult), 178; American oc- 
cupation, 197, 205 ; business and 
social condition, 210, 212, 226, 254, 
420 ; incorporated, 222 ; burned in 
1805, and new plans adopted, 240; 
stockaded in 1807, 248; affairs of 
War of 1812, Chaps. XL and XIL; 
social affairs under General Cass, 
420; cholera, 437; schools, 512; 
capital removed from, 512, 533. 

Detroit : armed vessel captured by El- 
liott, 336; another by Perry, 367. 

Detroit Gazette established, 384. 

Dickson, Robert, British Indian agent, 
283, 358. 

Disloyalty to the United States in up- 
per country, 201, 286. 

Districts for judicial purposes created 
by Lord Dorchester, 159; by Gover- 
nor Hull, 241, 262. 

Dodemead, John, receives Indian 
grants, 196; his house used for court 
sessions, 219; court under duress 
there, ib. 

Dodge, ColoneJ Henry, in Black Hawk 
War, 436. 

Dollier de Casson, with Galinee and 
LaSalle, on exploring expedition, 23 ; 
pass through Detroit River and de- 
stroy a stone idol, ib. 

Dongan, Governor, of New York, dis- 
putes with Governor of New P'rance 
about northwestern trade, 13, 42, 43 ; 
sends expeditions under Roseboom 
and McGregory, 44. 

Dorchester, {see Carleton). 

Doty, James Duane, accompanies Gen- 
eral Cass in 1820, 401 ; Territorial 
Judge, 409. 

Douglass, Columbus C, assistant in 
geological corps, 488. 

Dousman, Captain Michael : his course 
at capture- of Mackinaw, 284, 286. 

Drummond's Island, held by British 
after awarded to the United States, 
and used as rendezvous for Indian 
payments, 401, 406. 

Dubuisson, Commander at Detroit in 
siege of 1 712, 81, 82. 

Dudley, Colonel, at Fort Meigs, 358. 

Duelling punished, 405. 

Dugue, a lieutenant of Cadillac, 54. 

DuLuth, Daniel Grisolon, an eminent 
French leader, 40, et .seq.; goes to 
France to vindicate himself, 41 ; 
builds fort near Lake Huron (Fort 
St. Joseph), 43 ; at capture of Mc- 
Gregory, 45 ; cousin of Tonty, 47. 

Durantaye (de la), a distinguished of- 
ficer, commanding at Mackinaw, 40, 
42; captures Roseboom, 44. 

Dutch cede New York to England, 29, 



Eaton, John H., Secretary of War, 
429 ; contemplated as Governor of 
of Michigan, ib. 

Education : Cadillac desires to provide 
for It at Detroit, 70, 71 ; Vaudreuil 
favors it, 107 ; provided for by Or- 
dinance of 1787, 208; land set apart 
for it in Northwest Territory, 220; 
school and University grants, 230, 
415; Michigan University chai'tered, 
385, 407, 481 ; Normal School, 532 ; 
Agricultmal College, 543-573; free 
schools in Detroit, 512; generally, 
543; State Public School, 561. 

Election uf delegates to General As- 
sembly of Northwest Territory, 219; 
of Legislative Council, 409, 413, 416 ; 
of Constitutional Convention, 443 ; 
first State election, 465. 

Elliott, Jesse D., (Lieutenant, after- 
wards Commodore), captures British 
vessels Caledonia and Detroit, 336 ; 
takes part in Battle of Lake Erie, 

Elliott, Colonel Matthew, (British In- 
dian agent), endeavors to enlist De- 
lawares for the British, 182; tampers 
with American Indians, 195, 257 ; 
endeavors to recover fugitive slaves, 
247 ; ransoms American prisoners 
from Indians, 349. 

Elliott, Captain, (son of Matthew), 
summons Brush to surrender, 305 ; 
at Frenchtown, 344; promises to 
Captain Hart, 345. 

English : rivals of France, 28 ; send 
out western expeditions, 42, 43 ; 
charter Hudson's Bay Company, 28 ; 
emissaries at Detroit, 67, 77, 81 ; to 
be prevented from reaching the Ohio, 
99, 104; war with France, 108; un- 
popular with Indians, 115, 118, 136. 

Erie Canal, an important agent in 
western settlement, 2, 412. 

Erie, Lake: its importance, 41, 42; 
various names, 57 ; the Gritilin the 
first vessel on it, 33 ; Battle of, 367 ; 
Walk-in-the- Water, the first steam- 
boat, 395. 

Etherington, George, (Captain and 
Major), commanding at Mackinaw 
in 1763, 118; duped by Indian ball- 
play, 121; capture and adventures, 

Evidence, rules of, modified, 523, 

Exploring expeditions: sawt to find 
the South Sea, 21, 29 ; LaSalle and 
St. Lusson, 21 ; Joliet, Marquette, 
30 ; Dollier and Galinee, 23 ; La- 
Salle's great voyage, 33 ; McGregory 
and Roseboom, 44; Cass and School- 
craft, 401 ; Cass and McKenney, 414. 

Exports, 389, 416, 417. 

Famine threatened at Detroit, loi, 

Farnsworth, Elbn, Chancellor, 480, 516. 

Faux-saulniers, or salt smugglers, de- 
sirable colonists, 16; sent to build 
New Orleans, 16 ; wanted in Canada, 
89 ; to be sent to Detroit, 105. 

Felch, Alpheus, Governor, 536; Sen- 
ator, 537. 

Female suffrage rejected, 572. 

Feudal rights of Cadillac, 66, 71, 87; 

government grants at Detroit in 

roture and not feudal, 91 
Financial troubles of Michigan, 501, 

508, 513- 
Findlay, James, member of Council of 

Northwest Territory, 219; colonel of 

Ohio volunteers in Hull's army, 273 ; 

at surrender of Detroit, 299, 302. 
Fisher, James, Sergeant, in British 



army, murdered by Pontiac's Indians 
at Hog Island, 125 ; Cuillerier 
wrongly condemned for drowning his 
child, ib. 

Flag stafif at Detroit, not used by 
Americans after Hull's surrender, 
371 ; blown down, ib. 

Fletcher, William A., Judge and Re- 
viser, 480, 509. 

Flour, first exported from the Territory, 

Forests recklessly destroyed, 574. 

Forged letter, sent to stop enlistments 
m Kentucky, 363. 

Formality of public acts of French of- 
ficers, 78. 

Fort St. Joseph, on St. Joseph River, 
39, 120; St. Joseph, on St. Clair 
River, built by DuLuth, 43 ; burned 
and evacuated by La Hontan, 49 ; , 
Mackinaiv, 19, 25, 39, 48, 69 ; posi- 
tion changed at various times, 12, 
112, 188; captured by Indians, 121 ; 
moved to Island of Michilimackinac, 
188; captured by British, 284; re- 
stored to United States, 378 ; Potit- 
chartrain, built by Cadillac in 1 70 1, 
54, 59 ; former fort in 1687, 44 ; 
British propose to build one at Wa- 
wyachtenok, 51; attacked by In- 
dians, 67 ; besieged by Indians in 
1711,81; enlarged, 107; surrender- 
ed to British, 109 ; Lernotilt, at De- 
troit, back of old town, 178; retain- 

ed by British in violation of treaty 
of peace, 189, 192; delivered up to 
Americans, 197; surrendered to 
British by Hull, 302 ; recaptured by 
Harrison, and held by Duncan Mc- 
Arthur, 370; abandoned and dis- 
mantled, 415; Gratiot, built in 1 8 14, 
376; Brady, at Sault Ste. Mane, or- 
iginally belonged to Repentigny, 107; 
abandoned, iii, 120; established by 
United States, 403-4 ; garrison pre- 
vent Michigan from building ship 
canal, 502-3. 

Foxes (orOutagamies) besiege Detroit, 
81 ; defeated and slaughtered, 83. 

Franklin, Benjamin, desires to extend 
settlements, 131, 151, 154. 

French writers and explorers, 4. 

French system unfavorable to freedom, 

77, 171- 
French popular with Indians, 22, 117, 
118, 122,333; British suspicious of 
their loyalty, 135 ; mostly loyal, 170; 
not zealous against the Americans, 
279, 322; Proctor's efforts to intimi- 
date and seduce them in Michigan, 

Frenchtown, battles and massacre, 338 

Frontenac, Governor of New Prance, 

33^ 40. 
P'ur trade, the chief colonial interest, 
9, 25, 40, 138 ; attempts to control 
it, 42, 48, 52, 196, 198. 

Gage, General, Commander-in-Chief, 

117, 145- 
Galinee, [see Do I Her). 

Galissonniere, Marquis de la. Governor 
General of New France, favors De- 
troit, 69, 94 ; liberal views, 104 ; 
suggestions concerning Detroit, 105. 

Ganatchio, a name of Lake Ste. Claire, 

Gatineau, a Detroit monopolist, 88. 

General Assembly of Northwest Ter- 
ritory : members from Wayne Coun- 
ty, 219 ; troubles at Chillicothe, 223 ; 
differences with Governor, 220. 

Geological survey organized by Doctor 
Houghton, 487, 527. 

Gilpin, Henry D., nominated for Gov- 
ernor and rejected, 441. 

Gladwin, Major, commanding at De- 
troit in Pontiac war, 116, 123. 



Gnadenhutten, New, founded by Zeis- 
berger, on Clinton River, 1 84 ; Mo- 
ravian road to, 185 ; abandoned, 

Godfroy, Monsieur (Jaques ?), commu- 
nicates with Pontiac, 127. 

Godfroy, Colonel Gabriel : his post on 
the Raisin, 297 ; aids American 
prisoners, 350 ; intercedes for Oke- 
mos, 364. 

Goodwin, Daniel, Judge, 475. 

Gordon, Lieutenant Governor James 
Wright, 514. 

Gorrell, Lieutenant, in command at 
Green Bay, 118; adventures in Pon- 
tiac war, 122. 

Governors of New France: annoyed 
by intrigues. 5, 18, 21. 

Governor General of Canada : his 
powers under King's proclamation, 
132; under Quebec Act, 155. 

Governor and Judges : powers under 
Ordinance of 1787, 207; acts in 
Michigan, Chaps, X. and XIII ; last 
act as land board, 479. 

Governors of Michigan Territory: 
Hull, Chaps. X. and XL; Cass, 
Chap. XIIL; Porter, Chap. XIV.; 
of State, Chaps. XV. and XVI. 

Grand jury system, partially abandon- 
ed, 562. 

Grandfontaine, Governor of Acadia, 
sends out Joliet, 30. 

Grants of land: by Cadillac, 71 ; by 
Governor and Intendant, 80, 89, 90 ; 
of lots within the fort at Detroit, 94 ; 

from Indians, 120, 140, 170, 193, 196; 
mostly invalid, 231 ; by Governor 
and Judges in Detroit, 241, 243 ; by 
Congress in Michigan, 243, 286. 

Gratiot, Fort, built, 376. 

Graverat, Garret : under bonds during 
Revolution, 165; ill-treated by De- 
Peyster, 180. 

Graves, Major : at the River Raisin 
battles and massacre, 338, 342, 343 ; 
carried away by Indians, 346; prob- 
able fate, 346, 348. 

Graves, Benjamin F., Judge of Supreme 
Court, 569. 

Green, Judge Sanford M., reviser of 
Statutes, 510, 523. 

Green Bay, Gorrell at, 118; people 
disloyal to United States, 201, 286. 

Greenville, Wayne makes treaty at, 196. 

Gregoire, Madame, heiress of Cadillac, 

Griffin, the first vessel on Lake Erie, 
built by LaSalle, 33 ; leaves Niagara 
River, 35; reaches Detroit, 37; 
reaches Mackinaw, 38. 

Griffin, John, Territorial Judge, 237, 
and Chap. X.; loses office, 411. 

Grisolon {^see DuLuth') de la Tourette, 
brother of DuLuth, 46. 

Griswold, Stanley, Territorial Secre- 
tary, 237. 

Grosse He, a large island at mouth of 
Detroit River, 58 ; proposed site of 
town, 58; attack on Frenchmen 
there by Indians, 102; granted to 
Alexander Macomb, 170; British 
undertake to assert authority there, 


Haldimand, Governor General, re- 
fuses to give up western posts, 189, 

Half century of the Republic com- 
pleted, 3. 

Hall, General, communicates with 
Hull, 290. 

Hamilton, Henry, Lieutenant Governor 
at Detroit, 158, 165; relations with 
Dejean, 170; military action, 174; 



captured atVincennes, 177; confined 
closely in Virginia, 177. 

Hanks, Lieutenant Porter, taken pris- 
oner at Mackinaw, 285 ; killed at 
Detroit, 300, 

Harrison, General William Henry : 
delegate to Congress, 220 ; Governor 
of Indiana, 236 ; defeats Indians at 
Tippecanoe, 260; commands north- 
western army, 335, 357; holds Fort 
Meigs, 357; occupies Maiden, 369; 
occupies Detroit, 370; gains Battle 
of the Thames, 371, and see Chap. 
XII. passim-^ conciliates Indians, 

Hart, Captain : captured at French- 
town, 345; murdered by Indians, 
346 ; buried with honors at Detroit, 

374, 394- 
Haven, Rev. E. O., (D.D.), President 

of University, 554. 

Hay, John, Colonel: made Indian 
agent at Pontiac's request, 136; cap- 
tured with Hamilton at Vincennes, 
176; imprisoned, 177 ; exchanged, 
th.\ made Lieutenant Governor, 186; 
dies, ib. 

Heald, Captain, ordered by Hull to 
evacuate Chicago, 293 ; misfortunes, 


Helm, Mrs. Margaret, at Chicago mas- 
sacre, 295 ; harshly treated by Proc- 
tor, 295, 355. 

Helm, Captain, garrisons Vincennes 
with one soldier and receives honors 
of war on surrender, 1 74. 

Hennepin, Father Louis, companion of 
LaSalle, 4, 6, 34. 

Henry, Alexander, a British trader ; 
adventures at Mackinaw, etc., in 
Pontiac war, ill, 121, 122; attempts 
mining on Lake Superior, 147. 

Henry, John, a British agent employed 
to excite disunion in New England, 

Hesse, a Canadian district including 
Michigan, 159, 161. 


Higgins, Sylvester W., topographer, 

488, 519. 
Historical Society, 422. 
Hocquart, Intendant, 88. 
Hog Island, {see Belle Isle). 
Holmes, Major, killed at Mackinaw, 


Homesteads, 543. 

Horner, John S. : his experience as 
Secretary of the Territory, 465-469. 

Horses : at Detroit in Cadillac's time, 
61 ; subsequently, 86; numbers in 
Canada, 87; none at Oswego, ib.\ 
wild, at Detroit, 389 ; used as pack- 
animals, 390. 

Houghton, Doctor Douglass, at De- 
troit, 423 ; State Geologist, 487 ; 
plans northern surveys, 527-8 ; death, 

423, 529. 

Houses: in Detroit, \n early days, 62, 
63 ; cost of Bellestre's, 63 ; number 
in 1760, 112; in 1796, 213; style of, 
213, 215. 

Howard, Jacob M., Senator, 440, 467 

Hubbard, Bela, assistant geologist, 
488; his haunted mill, 217, 

Hudson's Bay Company incorporated, 

Hull, William, Governor of Michigan 
Territory, Chaps. X. and XL; ap- 
pointed Governor, 237; reaches De- 
troit, 239; creates court districts, 
241 ; organizes militia, 242 ; discords 
inboard, 241, 244; makes treaties, 
247 ; builds stockade, 248 ; enrolls 
negro militia, 249 ; troubles with 
Woodward, 25 1 ; goes to Washing- 
ton, 261 ; views on war, 267, 271-2 ; 
Revolutionary record, 269 ; other 
antecedents, 270; appointed to com- 
mand, 273 ; over-nicety, 274 ; reaches 
the Maumee, 275 ; sends vessels to 
Detroit — one captured at Maiden, 
276; reaches Springwells, 277; 
crosses into Canada, 278; effect ot 
his proclamation, 279; delays, 280- 



282, 289 ; orders attack on Maiden, 
290; retreats from Canada, ib.\ me- 
ditates surrender, 292 ; orders evac- 
uation of Fort Dearborn at Chicago, 
293 ; refuses to attack batteries, 297 ; 
sends out Cass and McArthur to the 
Raisin, ih.-^ refuses summons to cap- 
itulate, 298 ; makes no resistance to 
Brock, 3C0 ; surrenders without fight- 
irigj 302 ; discharged on parole, 304, 
315 ; court martial, 306 ; his defence, 
310 ; subsequent memoirs on the 
subject, 314; reasons for dissolving 
first court, 316; remarks on his de- 
fence, 318-328. 

Hunt, John, Judge, 411. 

Hunt, Major Henry J., 350, 351. 

Huntington, Samuel, declines judge- 
ship, 237. 

Hurons, Ouendats or Wyandots, 9 ; at 
Mackinaw, 49; remove to Detroit, 
63 ; industrious and intelligent, 49 ; 
raise corn for sale, 49,86; mission 
at Bois-blanc Island, 99 ; intrigues 
against Detroit, tb.-^ mission removed 
to Sandwich, 103; villages at 
Brownstown and Monguagon, 287, 
289, 340, 397 ; mostly friendly to 
United States, 260; some join the 
British, 280, 287; join Harrison, 
362; make treaty, 377; change re- 
.serves, 397. 

Huron, Lake, called Ottawa wa, 57. 

Idol, destroyed at Detroit, 23. 

Illinois Indians, help Dubuisson, 82. 

Illinois, State, organized, 383 ; en- 
croaches on Wisconsin, ib. 

Imports, in Territory, 407-410. 

Indiana : Territory organized, 222 ; 
made to include all Michigan, 223 ; 
State includes part of Michigan, 383. 

Indian names of counties, 519. 

Indians : settle at Detroit, 63 ; Cadillac 
desires to civilize them, 64, 70 ; con- 
dition in 1718, 85; occasionally 
troublesome, 67, 81, loi ; stirred up 
by Pontiac, 117; dislike English, 
118 ; not restrained by white leaders, 
122; persuaded against Americans, 
191, 192, 195, 257; injured by white 
associations, 21 1; deceived by in- 
terpreters, 131 ; make grants of land, 
120, 140, 170, 193, 196; rise under 
Prophet and Tecumseh, 257; course 
m War of 1812, 279, 280, 283, 293, 

333, 341, 345, 358, 362, 372, 376; 
make peace, 373, 376; action of 
Michigan Legislature on their be- 
half, 517. 543, 545. 

Intendant's deputy at Detroit, 96. 

Internal improvement system under- 
taken, 483; ruinous results, 513; 
abandoned, ib., 520. 

Interpreters, cause trouble by their 
mistakes, 131 «. 

Irish manuscript, 410. 

Iroquois : did not occupy Michigan, 
II, 57; object to French control of 
the Strait, as the way to the beaver 
country, 42, 56 ; convey their lands 
to King of England, 56; campaigns, 
27, 46. 

Islands : in boundary waters, long un- 
settled as to nationality, 2 ; in Lake 
Superior, named after Pontchartrain 
and his family, 95 ; lost islands, 96; 
in Detroit River, 58, 59, 124, 

Jailor, compelled to pay tavern li- 
cense, 263, 

Jay's Treaty, 196, 246. 

Jessup, brigade major at Detroit, 299. 



Jesuits: opposed to settlements, i8; 
their zeal, ib.-^ rivalry with other or- 
ders, 29 ; troubles at Detroit, 63. 

Jogues, Father, 11. 

Johnson, Sir William, Indian Superin- 
tendent, Chap N\\. passim. 

Johnson, Colonel Richard M., com- 
mands mounted rangers, 363 ; ar- 
rives at Detroit, 371 ; breaks British 
lines at the Thames, ib.; kills Te- 
cumseh, 372 ; Vice President, 478. 

Johnston, John, trader at Sault Ste. 
Marie, aids in capture of Mackinaw, 
284, 402. 

Joliet, 30. 

Joncaire, Chevalier Francois Chabert 
de, 114, 147, 181 ; represents Wayne 
County in Assembly of Northwest 
Territory, 219. 

Jones, George W., delegate to Con- 
gress, 398, 469. 

Jones, Richard, aids prisoners, 350. 

Jonois, Father, missionary at L'Arbre 
Croche, carries news of fall of Mack- 
inaw to Gladwin, 121. 

Jonquiere, de la, Governor, 104. 

Judges : none commissioned until 1788, 
158, 161 ; Dejean and LeGrand ap- 
pointed by commanders, 141, 162 ; 
under Northwest Territory, 206 ; in 
Michigan Territory, 237, 410, 411, 
435 ; in State, 463, 469, 480, 569. 

Judiciary system: originally for life, 
207 ; changed in Michigan in 1823, 
410 ; under State Constitutions, 463, 
469, 480, 521, 522, 523. 

Jung, and Jungman, Moravian mission- 
aries, 184. 

Jurisprudence, French system of, pre- 
served by Quebec Act, 153 ; abolish- 
ed in Upper Canada, 193 ; in Mich- 
igan, 262. 


Kandekio, a name of Lake St. Clair, 

Karontaen, name of Detroit, 37. 
Kaskaskia, captured, 174; people 

friendly to Americans, ib. 
Kent, Professor, 555. \ 

Kentucky, invaded by Bird, 181 ; vol- ' 

unteers from, 335, 363. . 

Kidnapping, deserters from Detroit, 

statute against, 417. 
King's Mountain, Shelby in Battle of, j 

363- I 

King's proclamation after conquest of 
Canada, 132, 

Kinzie, John, of Chicago, at massacre, 
293 ; ill-treated by Proctor, 354 

Kishkaukon, Saginaw chief, trouble- 
some, 376 ; charged with murder, 
and poisons himself, 416; County, 

Knaggs, Captain James, recognizes 

Tecumseh, 372. 

Kundig, Rev. Martin, appropriation to, 


Labadie, Miss, helps prisoners, 350. 

La Butte, interpreter during Pontiac 
war, 127, 131. 

La Croix, Hubert, captain in Legion, 

La Foret, Major de, (La Salle's lieu- 
tenant), 40, 81 ; at capture of Rose- 
boom and McGregory, 44 ; succeeds 
Cadillac, 80 ; gives his views about 
Detroit, 84. 

La H(jntan, Baron de, 4, 6 ; commands 
P ort St. Joseph, 46 ; destroys and 
evacuates it, 49. 

Lakes, necessary ways, 58. 

La Marque, Detroit monopolist, 86. 

La Mothe, Captain, captured at Vin- 
cennes, 177. 

La Motte Cadillac, {^see Cadillac). 

Land Office, 513, 533. 



Lands: at Detroit, of good quality, 
86; granted by Cadillac, 71; by 
Governor and Intendant, 90, 91 ; 
titles confirmed, 231, 243; invalid 
grants, 139, 170, 178, 231 ; bounty 
lands not located, and why, 379-3^°; 
first sales by United States in 1818, 
395 ; school and University grants, 
220, 230, 481 ; other grants, 482, 
513; fraudulent surveys, 519; sur- 
vey system, 527. 

Langlade, French trader at Mackinaw : 
Henry concealed in his house after 
massacre, 121 ; sent out by DePeys- 
ter with Indians, 174. 

Lansing, capital removed to, 533 

Lamed, Charles, Attorney General, 
440 ; died of cholera, ib. 

La Salle, Robert Cavelier, Sieur de, 4, 
21; sent out to explore, 23; en- 
nobled, 31 ; prepares for further ad- 
ventures, 33 ; builds the Griffin, ib.\ 
starts for the Mississippi, 35; 
reaches the Detroit, 37; reaches 
Mackinaw, 38 ; builds fort on the 
St. Joseph, 39. 

Lasselle, Miss, aids prisoners, 350. 

Law school of University. 555. 

Legion, Michigan, 321. 

Legislative Board of Governor and 
Judges, 207, 237. 

Legislative Council : created, i ; met 
in 1824,412; changed, 1,413,416. 

Le Grand, Philip, acts judicially under 
military appointment, 141. 

Lernoult, Captain (and Major) R. B., 
168 ; attends examination of prison- 
ers before Dejean, ib.; builds fort at 
Detroit named after him, 178. 

Lewis, Colonel William, in battles of 
the Raisin, 338-344. 

Licenses to sell liquor forbidden, 553. 

Lieutenant Governors: under British, 
Hamilton, Hay and Smclair, 158, 
164, 178; of Upper Canada, Simcoe, 


Liquor selling: at Mackinaw, 64; re- 
strained by Cadillac, 65 ; by regula- 
tions of Detroit merchants, 65, 164; 
legislation before surrender of De- 
troit, 261 ; by State laws, 553. 

Livingston, Lieutenant Governor, of 
New York, approves of bushrangers, 
16, 52; his schemes against Detroit, 

Livre, tournois and parisis, 63, 

Loan, Five Million, 494, 496-502 ; 
loans restricted, 514, 542. 

Local government : unknown to French 
colonists, 77, 171 ; not provided for 
under Hull's administration, 262 ; 
views of General Cass on, 392, 413. 

Lods et ventes, reserved in grants, 91 ; 
their amount, 98. 

Longueuil, Chevalier de, Commander 
at Detroit, 93, 100 ; decorated with 
Cross of St. Louis, 100. 

Lottery, authorized for public purposes, 

Louisiana : did not include Michigan, 
8 ; Cadillac made Governor of, 76. 

Louis XIV., ambitious of territory, 20. 

Lucas, LaSalle's pilot, 35. 

Lucas, Robert, Governor of Ohio, m- 
volved in boundary disputes, 445, 

Lusigny, leader of bushrangers, 40. 
Lyon, Lucius, delegate to Congress, 

399 ; Senator, 469. 


McArthur, Colonel (and General) 
Duncan : commands regiment in 
Hull's army, 273 ; advises him of 
impending war, 276 ; makes foray 

up the Thames, 279 ; detached with 
Cass before surrender, 297; in com- 
mand at Detroit, 370; raid through 
Canada, 373. 



McClelland, Robert, Governor, 545. 

McCracken, Captain Virgin, murdered 
at Frenchtown, 346. 

McDonell, John, 350. 

McDougall, Lieutenant George, goes 
with Major Campbell to Pontiac's 
camp, 128; escapes, ib.; obtains 
grant of Hog Island, 170. 

McGregor, Gregor, appointed first 
sheriff by Lord Dorchester, 161. 

McGregory, Major Patrick, sent on ex- 
pedition to Mackinaw, 43 ; captured 
by Tonty and his associates, 45. 

McKee, Colonel, British Indian agent : 
his stores destroyed by Wayne, 195 ; 
at Maiden, 257 ; protects inhabitants 
of Detroit, 333. 

McKeehan, Doctor, sent to attend 
prisoners, and captured, 346 ; cruelly 
treated, ib. 

McKenney, Colonel, accompanies Cass 
to Lake Superior, 414. 

McKinney, John, defaulting State' 
Treasurer, 565. 

McKinstry, Colonel David C, opposes 
Secretary Mason's appointment, 430. 

Macaulay, Zachary, signs protest 
against Quebec Act, 158. 

Mack, Stephen, an officer of the Le- 
gion, 321 ; helps prisoners, 350. 

Mackinaw : an early post and mission, 
12, 13, 19; position of fort, 12, 48, 
112; captured by Indians, 121 ; dif- 
ficulties with Major Rogers, 145 ; 
fort removed to Island of Michili- 
mackinac, 188; captured by British, 
285 ; some of its people disloyal, 
286 ; failure of attempt to recapture, 

. 373 ; restored to United States, 377 ; 
extensive business, 407, 410; trouble 
with Mormons on Beaver Island, 549. 

Mackintosh, Angus, of Detroit, inherits 
Moy estates, 136;/.; hospitality, 212. 

Macomb, Alexander, merchant : on 
committee to regulate liquor sales, 
164; obtains grant of Grosse He, 

Macomb, Alexander, General, receives 
sword of honor, 384. 

Macomb, William, helps prisoners, 

Macomb County, 388. 

Madison, Major, at Battles of French- 
town, 338-345. 

Madison, President, 324. 

Maiden (or Amherstburgh) : built on 
American occupation of Michigan, 
228 ; why not placed on Bois-blanc 
Island, 229 ; centre of Indian trans- 
actions, 257; Hull fails to take it, 
279, 292, 308, 310; forces from, at 
Frenchtown, 337, 340; prisoners 
taken there, 345 ; Barclay gathers 
his fleet, 366 ; Proctor evacuates and 
partially destroys, 369; Harrison 
occupies, ib.\ restored to British, 378; 
vexatious conduct of officers there, ib. 

Manitous, 24. 

Manning, Randolph, Chancellor and 
Judge, 480, 569. 

Mansfield, Captain, at Detroit, 304. 

Mansfield, Lord: inconsistency, 132, 

Manufactures : opposed by English, 
106; encouraged by French, ib.; ex- 
tension of settlements opposed, as 
dangerous to British industry, 138, 

Marietta colonists at Detroit, 217. 
Marion, Fontaine, shot for acting as 

British guide, 46. 
Marquette, Father, 13. 
Marriages : performed by military 

commanders, 179; sanctioned by 

Canadian legislation, 204. 
Married women, secured in their pro- 
perty, 520. 
Marston, Isaac, Judge of Supreme 

Court, 569, 
Martin, George, Chief Justice, 569. 
Martial law : kept up after conquest, 

under King's proclamation, 132; 

under Quebec Act, 158. 
Mascoutins, besiege Detroit, 81. 



Mason, General John T., Secretary of 
Michigan Territory, 428. 

Mason, Stevens Thomson, Secretary of 
Michigan Territory, before his com- 
ing of age, 429'; objections to his 
appointment, ib.\ maintains bound- 
ary rights of Territory, 446, 448; 
superseded by Charles Shaler and 
John S. Horner, 465 ; elected Gov- 
ernor of the State, ib.^ negotiates 
loan, and is cheated, 497-501. 

Massacre, planned against Detroit, loi, 
123 ; at Mackinaw, 121 ; at Chicago, 
295 ; at Frenchtown, 345. 

Maumee Rapids : British build fort 
there after the Revolution, 195 ; 
Wayne defeats Indians there, ib.\ 
Hull sends vessels to Detroit from, 
276; Harrison builds Fort Meigs, 


Maurepas, Count, friendly to Canada, 

May, James, Judge, 205; aids prison- 
ers, 350. 

Mechanics, in colony, 34, 62. 

Medaminabo, 391. 

Medical school at University, 532, 557. 

Meigs, Fort, besieged ineffectually, 

357, 359- 
Meigs, Return J., Governor of Ohio, 

286, 357. 
Membre, Father Zenobe, accompanies 

LaSalle, 34. 
Menominie Indians : at Detroit, 82 ; 

aid Gorrell, 119, 122; aid British 

against Americans at Mackinaw, 

Mesnard, Father Rene, missionary on 

Lake Superior, 1 1 ; dies at the por- 
tage of Keweenaw Point, 12. 

Mexican War, 521. 

Miami Indians, 294, 295, 363. 

Michabou, 95, 547. 

Michigan : French dependency, 3, 8 ; 
kept back from settlement, 8, 9 ; 
early posts and missions, 10 ; sur- 
rendered to British, 109; retained 

by Great Britain in violation of 
treaty, 189 ; attempt to secure its 
possession, 198 ; delivered up to 
Americans, 197 ; included in Wayne 
County of Northwest Territory, 205 ; 
represented in Assembly, Chap. IX. 
passim ; attached to Indiana, 224 ; 
Territory organized, 231 ; its first 
administration under Hull, Chap. X.; 
no new settlements, 234 ; no lands 
in market, 221, 247 ; surrendered to 
British, 302 ; under British military 
rule, Chap. XII.; promised to the 
Prophet, 358-9 ; re-occupied by 
Americans, 370 ; refuses to have an 
assembly, 391 ; extended to the Mis- 
sissippi, 383 ; to the Missouri, 440 ; 
prepares for and forms Constitution, 
435, 442-4, 462 ; elects State officers 
and representative, 463 ; first Leg- 
islature, 469; Senators elected, ib.\ 
admission subjected to conditions, 
472 ; rejected by convention, 475 ; 
irregular acceptance, 477 ; admitted 
into the Union, ib.; adopts new Con- 
stitution, 539. ^ 

Michilimackinac, {see Mackinaw), coun- 
ty organized, 388. 

Military interference with canal at 
Sault Ste. Marie, 502-3. 

Militia, organized, 205, 242 ; in War 
of 1812, 321. 

Miller, Lieutenant Colonel James : in 
Hull's army, 273 ; at Battle ot Mon- 
guagon, 289, 296 ; brevetted, 329 ; 
exchanged for Dacres, 305. 

Miller, Oliver W., befriends prisoners, 

Miller & Jermain, first ship flour to the 

east, 417. 
Mills, David, M. P., makes report on 

Canadian boundary, 29. 
Mills: at Detroit, 74, 216; moulin 

banal, 73, 90 ; water mill authorized 

by Boishebert, 90; wind mills, 216. 
Mines, on Lake Superior, 147, 148. 



Minong Island, disappearance from 
maps, 95. 

Missions : early, 10, 1 1 ; Huron, at 
Bois-blanc, 99 ; removed to Sand- 
wich, 103. 

Money : current, 262 ; paper, shin- 
plasters and dicker, 384, 490-2, 497 ; 
scrip, 501. 

Monguagon, Battle of, 289, 296. 

Monroe County, organized, 383. 

Monroe, James, President, visits De- 
troit, 383. 

Montreal Point, opposite Detroit, 104. 

Moore, Thomas, major in Ohio volun- 
teers, 274. 

Navarre, Robert, deputy of the In- 
tendant, 96, 97, 99. 

Negroes: retained as slaves, 204, 246; 
not restored when fugitives from 
Canada, 246; enrolled as militia, 
249; peculiar laws concerning, 417. 

New France, included Michigan, 8. 

Newspapers: none in Canada, 152; 
Michigan Essay, 255; Detroit Ga- 
zette, 384 ; Michigan Herald, 412. 

New York: ceded to England, 29; 
controversy with, for western trade, 

Nicholas, a Huron chief, plots against 
Detroit, 102. 

Moravians: Zeisberger and others 
brought prisoners to Detroit, 183; 
settle at New Gnadenhutten, 184; 
abandon it, 187. 

Morell, George, Territorial and State 
Judge, 435, 480. 

Mormons, establish kingdom on Bea- 
ver Islands, 549; its fate, 551. 

Morrison, Robert, major in Ohio vol- 
unteeis, 274. 

Muir, Major, British Commander at 
Detroit, 349, 353. 

Mundy, Edward, first Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor, 465. 

Munson, J. R., major of Ohio volun- 
teers, 274. 


Noblesse, French citizens belonging to, 

Nolan, Detroit monopolist, 88. 

Normal School, 532, 543. 

iCorthwest Company: opposed to set- 
tlements, 257; quarters at the Sault, 

Northwest Territory, Chap. IX. 

Norvell, John, one of the first Sena- 
tors, 469. 

Notary, an important officer, 78, 97. 

Noyan, Monsieur de. Commander at 
Detroit, 93. 


OcHSVi^EGO or Oswego, a name of 
Lake Erie, 57. 

Officers : English, disliked by Indians, 
175 ; Scottish, more acceptable, 136; 
British, at Maiden, exceed their au- 
thority, 378, 379. 

Ohio: organized as a State, 222; fur- 
nishes volunteers for Hull's army, 
273 ; operations after Hull's surren- 
der. Chap. XII.; boundary dispute 
with, 444-463. 

Okemos, a nephew of Pontiac, 1 19 ; 
roughly handled by American ran- 
gers, 364; submits to the United 
States, 365. 

Ordinance of 1787, 206. 

Ordinances of Detroit peculiar, 224, 

Oregon resolutions, 520. 

Orotoni, a Huron chief, 102. 

Osages, aid Dubuisson, 81. 

Otsiketa, a name of Lake St. Clair, 



Ottawas: at Mackinaw, 49; at De- | Outagamies, attack Detroit, 8t ; de- 
troit, 49, 82 ; raise good crops, 85 ; I feated, 84. 

hostile, 363. 
Ottawavva, (Lake Huron), 57. 
Ouendats, [see Hiirons). 

Owen, John, State Treasurer, saves the 
State credit, 565. 

Packhorses, used for transportation, 

Pajot, Commander at Detroit, 93. 

Panis or Pawnees, slaves, 113; at De- 
troit, ib. note ; woman conceals Henry 
at Mackinaw during massacre, 121. 

Paris, Treaty of, 113. 

Parkman, Francis, 4, 120. 

Passing bell, discontinued in cholera 
year, 438. 

Patriot War, 511. 

Pattinson, Richard, obtains Indian 
grants, 196; partner in scheme for 
acquiring Michigan, 199. 

Pean, Hugues, hereditary Town- Major 
of Quebec, Commander at Detroit, 
91 ; rapacity and punishment, 92. 

Pelee, Pointe: Dollier and Galinee 
wrecked there, 23. 

Perry, Commodore Oliver Hazard, 
prepares fleet at Erie, 365 ; defeats 
British fleet on Lake Erie, 367 ; acts 
as aid to Harrison in Battle of the 
Thames, 372. 

Phelyppeaux family, 94. 

Pierce, John D., Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, 481, 513. 

Pioneers, usually honest, 15. 

Political difficulties introduced, 419- 

Pollard, Reverend Richard, befriends 
prisoners, 349. 

Ponies, numerous in the woods, hardy 
and useful, 389. 

Pontchartrain, Count, at Quebec, 67 ; 
friendly to Cadillac, 70; places 
named for him, 95. 

Pontchartrain, Fort, built by Cadillac 
at Detroit, 54, 59; enlarged, I07. 

Pontiac, Chief of the Ottawas : meets 
Rogers at Cuyahoga River, 115; his 
plots and massacres. Chap. VII. 
passim; his sagacity, 257; makes 
grants of land, 120, 140. 

Population: of Detroit, in 1760, 112; 
in 1796, 213; of Territory, 234. 

Portage of Keweenaw Point : Mesnard 
lost there, 12. 

Portage of Saylt Ste. Marie : expense 
of transportation, 506, 529. 

Porter, Captain, takes possession of 
Detroit, 197. 

Porter, Augustus S., Senator, 514. 

Porter, George B., Territorial Gover- 
nor, 429; dies of cholera, 446, 

Porter, Peter B., General, 324. 

Posts, western, retained by Great Bri- 
tain wrongfully, 189. 

Potawatamies : aid Dubuisson, 82 ; 
raise large crops, 85 ; cede their vil- 
lages to Chene and Navarre, 150, 
151 ; attack fort on St. Joseph, 120; 
hostile to United States, 363. 

Potier, Father, missionary among the 
Hurons, 99, 103 

Powell, William Dummer, first Judge 
in Western District, 161. 

Pownall, Governor, on French settle- 
ments, 17, 108. 

Praline, 391. 

Printing press: none in Canada, 6; 
first introduced in Michigan, 255. 

Prisoners : massacred at Frenchtown, 
345; ransomed at Detroit. 349; run 
the gauntlet at Fort Meigs, 358. 

Proctor, Henry, Colonel and General : 
assumes command at Maiden, 287 ; 
at Detroit, i}) i ; organizes govern- 



ment, 332 ; commands at battles of 
Frenchtown, 342-345 ; cruelty, 346 ; 
forbids ransom of prisoners from In- 
dians, 351 ; remonstrated with by 
Woodward, 352 ; banishes citizens, 
354, 355; moves into Ohio, 357; 
repulsed at Fort Meigs, ib.\ cruelty 


Quebec Act: passed, 152, 153; op- 
posed, 157; not enforced in Western 

to prisoners, 358; rebuked by Tc- 
cumseh, ib.\ assaults Fort Stephen- 
son, 360 ; defeated and retreats, 362 ; 
evacuates Maiden, 369 ; insulted by 
Tecumseh, tb.\ overtaken and de- 
feated by Harrison, 371. 

Canada or Michigan, 15S; repealed 
as to Upper Canada, 193. 


Railroads : first chartered, 418; 
owned by State, 483, 495 ; sold, 
496, 520. 

Raisin, River, battles and massacre, 

Randall, Robert, attempts to bribe 

members of Congress to dispose of 

Michigan to Detroit company, 199. 
Ransom of prisoners : from Indians, 

after Frenchtown massacre, 349 ; 

forbidden by Proctor, 351. 
Ransom, Epaphroditus, Judge, 480 ; 

Governor, 537. 
Raquette, used in ball-play, 121. 
Raymbault, missionary, 11. 
Reaume, an early Detroit settler, 88 ; 

a Green Bay magistrate of eccentric 

jurisdiction, 160. 
Rebellion, services of Michigan in, 

Recollets, early missionaries, 10. 
Records, removed from Detroit to 

Quebec, 190. 
Recreations of old citizens, 212, 218, 

224, 422. 
Reed, Ebenezer, 384. 
Reform School, 559. 
Reid, Duncan, 350. 
Removals from office multiplied, 419. 
Repentigny, Chevalier (and Marquis) 

de, obtains seigneurie, and builds 

fort at Sault Ste. Marie, 71, 92, 107; 

lost to his family by escheat, 93. 


Reserves, government : remarks upon 
abuses in extending exclusive juris- 
diction over them, 507. 

Revision of statutes : in 1820, 405 ; in 
1827, 417; in 1838, 509; in 1846, 
523; forbidden by Constitution, 510, 

Revolution, American: did not affect 
sentiment in Michigan, 165, 171. 

Revolution, French, of 1830 : celebrat- 
' ed, 41S. 

Reynolds, Doctor, killed at Detroit, 

Ribourde, Father Gabriel de la, chief 
missionary with LaSalle, 34. 

Richard, Father Gabriel : arrives at 
Detroit, 204; introduces printing 
press, 255 ; delegate to Congress, 
398; dies, 440. 

Richardie, Father de la, Huron mis- 
sionary, loi, 103. 

Riflemen, mounted : Johnson's regi- 
ment, 363; arrive at Detroit, 371; 
break the enemy's lines at the 
Thames, ib. 

Roads: none before Moravian, 186; 
few in Hull's time, 262 ; government 
roads, 415. 

Robertson, William and David, in 
Randall scheme, 199. 

Rocheblave, M. de, Commander at 
Kaskaskia, 173 ; captured and sent 
to Virginia, 174. 



Rogers, Major Robert : takes posses- 
sion of Detroit, 109 ; in Pontiac 
war, 129 ; frauds at Mackinaw, and 
subsequent career, 145. 

Rosalie, Fort, 95. 

Roseboom, a New York trader : sent 
to Mackinaw by Governor Dongan, 
44 ; captured by Durantaye, 45. 

Rotflre, lands at Detroit held in, 91. 

Roundhead, Wyandot chief, 334, 340, 

Rowland, Captain (and Major) Thomas: 
refuses to submit to Hull's surren- 
der, 305 ; a gentleman of literary 
tastes, 422. 

Royal Americans, (60th Regiment), at 
Detroit, 109. 

Ruland, Israel, imprisoned and ban- 
ished by Proctor, 347, 354. 

Sabrevois, Commander at Detroit, 93, 


Sacs or Sakis : at Detroit, 82 ; befriend 
Etherington, 119; in Black Hawk 
war, 435-6. 

Sager, Dr. Abram, on geological sur- 
vey, 488. 

Saghinan or Saginaw, 9. 

Sahiquage or Sweege, a name of Lake 
Erie, 57. 

St. Anne's Church, Detroit, 81, 204, 

255» 3^1, 398. 

St. Clair, General Arthur, Governor of 
Northwest Territory, 210, 220. 

vSt. Clair, Arthur, (son of Governor), 
Attorney General, 210; honored 
above his comrades, ib. 

Ste. Claire, Lake, named by LaSalle, 
38 ; various names, ib. 

St. Esprit, mission at Chegoimegon, 

St. George, Colonel, at Maiden, 278. 

St. Ignace, the old mission of Mack- 
inaw, 12. 

St. Joseph, of Lake Michigan, Fort : 
built by LaSalle, 39 ; removed in- 
land, 40; captured in Pontiac war, 

St. Joseph, Fort, on St. Clair River: 
built by DuLuth, 43; commanded 
by La Hontan, 46 ; destroyed and 
abandoned, 49. 

St. Lusson, holds council at Sault Ste. 
Marie, 21. 

St. Ours, Desch'aillons de, at Detroit, 

Salaries, under State Constitution, 544, 


Salieres (Carignan) Regiment, 26. 

Salt manufacture, 573. 

Sargent, Winthrop, Secretary and act- 
ing Governor of Northwest Terri- 
tory, at Detroit, 197 ; organizes civil 
and military affairs, and establishes 
Wayne County, 205. 

Sastaretsi, the great Huron chief, taken 
to Quebec, and dies, 10 1. 

Sault de Ste. Marie: early mission, 10, 
19; St. Lusson holds council, 2i ; 
seigneurie granted to Repentigny, 
71, 92, 107; visited by Henry, iii ; 
British sympathizers, 201, 283, 286, 
402 ; Cass makes treaty there, 404 ; 
ship canal interrupted by troops, 
502; built, 546. 

Sawyer, Franklin, Superintendent of 
Public Instruction, 440, 513. 

Scalps, reward for, 177. 

Schieffiin, Jonathan : captured at Vin- 
cennes and sent to Virginia, 177 ; in- 
terested in Randall scheme, 199; re- 
tains British allegiance, 200; obtains 
large Indian grants, 196, 201 ; repre- 
sents Wayne County in Assembly, 
223 ; spirited conduct at Chillicothe, 

Schools : early founded in Detroit, 
254-6 ; grants for, 220, 230 ; system 



adopted, 416, 481; Normal, 532; 

Reform, 559. 
Schoolcraft, Henry R.: on Cass's first 

expedition, 400; historical writer, 

Scott, Dr. William McDowell, 354; 

abused by Proctor, ib. 
Scott, Miss, befriends prisoners, 350. 
Scottish officers and merchants, liked 

by Indians, 136. 
Search of American vessels at Maiden, 

Sedgwick, Theodore, exposes Randall 

and Whitney, 199. 
Seigneuries : only two in Michigan, 

Senecas : expedition against, * 46 ; 

friendly to United States, 260. 
Servants at Detroit, praised by Judge 

Burnet, 113 « 

Settlements : opposed by Jesuits, fur 
companies and British Ministry, 19, 
20, 150, 170, 172; favored by Beau- 
harnois, Galissonni^re and Vau- 
dreuil, 89, 105, 107 ; in Michigan, 
largely from other States, 426 

Shaler, Charles, declines the office of 
Secretary, 465. 

Shawanoes, in part join Tecumseh and 
the Prophet, 258-9 ; partly friendly 
to the United States, 26c. 

Shea, Dr. John G., 30. 

Shelby, Governor Isaac : patriotic ser- 
vices, 363 ; leads Kentucky volun- 
teers, ib.\ his pony at Maiden, 370; 
commands army after the Battle of 
the Thames, 372; fort named after 
him, 374. 

Sheldon, John P.: editor of Gazette, 
384; Secretary of Council, 412; 
tried for contempt, 417. 

Shinplaster currency, 384-5. 

Shipp, Lieutenant, at Fort Stephenson, 

Short, Lieutenant Colonel (British), 
killed at Fort Stephenson, 360. 

Shipping, at Detroit, in 1796, 215. 

Sibley, Lieutenant, killed at Detroit, 

Sibley, Solomon : first American set- 
tler in Michigan, 217; delegate to 
Assembly, 219 ; member of Council, 
222 ; meeting with Lewis Cass, 218 ; 
Supreme Court Judge, 217, 411 ; de- 
legate to Congress, 398. 

Sieges of Detroit, 81, 123-130. 

Silver, discovered on Lake Superior, 

Simcoe, John Graves, Lieutenant Gov- 
ernor of Upper Canada, 193 ; suc- 
ceeds Rogers in command of Queen's 
Rangers, 194; builds fort on Mau- 
mee, 195 ; cajoles Hull, 270. 

Sinclair, Patrick, Lieutenant Governor, 
178; at Mackinaw, 188; removes 
fort to Island of Michilimackinac, ib. 

Slavery, not to be extended, 539. 

Slaves, in Canada and Michigan, 113, 
204, 246. 

Smart, Robert, 350, 356. 

Smith, Thomas, appointed clerk by 
Lord Dorchester, 161 ; killed at 
Maumee, ib. 

Smythe, Richard, cavalry officer at De- 
troit, 321. 

Snelling, Colonel Josiah, of Miller's 
regiment, 297, 299, 300, 319. 

Social life in Detroit, 202, 211, 218, 
225, 254, 420. 

Solar compass, 527. 

South Sea expeditions, 21. 

Springwells, or Bellefontaine : Hull's 
camping ground, 277 ; Brock crosses 
there, 300 ; encampment of soldiers 
in Black Hawk war, 278, 440 ; of 
"Patriots," 278. 

Sproat, Colonel Ebenezer, 218. 

Squaws, defeat Indians at foot-ball, 

State House at Lansing, 575. 

State Library, under lady librarian, 576. 

Statutes: revised in 1820, 405; 1827, 
417; 1838,509; 1846,523; Com- 
piled, 1857, 542; 1872, 542. 



Steamboat Walk-in-the-Water, first on 
Lake Erie, 395. 

Stephenson, Fort, defended by Major 
Cioghan, 360. 

Stuart, Charles E , Senator, 569. 

Strang, James J., King of the Mor- 
mons, 549. 

Superior, Lake : early missions on, 10, 
II ; visited by Alexander Henry, 147; 

by Cass, 404, 414; surveys on, 527; 
mining, 148, 529 ; first steamboat 
on, 529. 

Sweege, Lake, (Erie), 57. 

Symmes, Judge John Cleves, at De- 
troit, 210. 

Symmes, Captain John Cleves : curi- 
ous theory concerning the interior of 
the earth, — " Symmes's Hole," 396 

Tabellion : nature of his office, 97. 

Talon, Intendant, sends out expedi- 
tions, 21, 29. 

Tanner, John, captive among Indians 
— dangerous character, 415. 

Taochiarontiong, same as Atiochiaron- 

Tappan, Dr. Henry P., President of 
the University, 554. 

Tarhee (the Crane), Wyandot chief, 
joins Harrison, 362. 

Taxes: laid by Commander at De- 
troit, 140; how levied in Territory, 

Taychatin, chief, goes to Quebec with 
Bellestre, and dies, loi. 

Taylor, Zachary, defeats Indians in 
Black Hawk war, 436. 

Tecumseh, Chief of the Shawanoes: 
incites the Indians to war, 258; af- 
ter defeat at Tippecanoe goes to 
Maiden, 260; humanity at Fort 
Meigs, 358; at Bois-blanc during 
Battle of Lake Erie, 369; insults 
Proctor for cowardice, zA; killed at 
the Thames, 371-2. 

Teganissorens, Chief of the Iroquois, 

Tenney, Mrs. H. A , State Librarian, 

Tenures of lands, in Cadillac's seig- 

neurie, 72; of Royal grants, 91 ; 

of lands in fort, 97. 
Teuchsa Grondie, {see Atiochiaronti- 

Texas annexation favored, 520, 

Thames, Battle of the, 371. 

Thomas (or Tomaw), Menominie chief, 
373, 401-2. 

Tippecanoe, Battle of, 260. 

Tob'acco, exported from Detroit, 417. 

Toledo war, 447. 

Tonty, Chevalier Henry de, LaSalle's 
companion, 32 ; in Seneca cam- 
paign, 44. 

Tonty, the younger, Commander at 
Detroit, 80 ; grasping and arrogant, 

Tories, granted lands in Canada, 194 

Townships, first organized, 413. 

Tracy, Marquis de. Viceroy, 26; his 
Iroquois campaign, 27. 

Trade: restricted, 15, 25,32; western, 
coveted by English, 42 ; licenses, 25, 
69 ; monopoly at Detroit, 87 ; open 
after conquest, 116. 

Traders: at Detroit, 136, 212, 215, 
228 ; at Sault and Green Bay, hostile 
to the United States, 228, 283, 286. 

Trading houses, government, 229, 406. 

Treaty, of Paris, 113; Jay's, 196, 198, 

Trimble, Major William A., of Ohio 
volunteers, 274. 

Trowbridge, Charles C, iv.; with ex- 
pedition of 1820, 401 ; collects his- 
tory, 422. 

Trumbull, Judge John, author of Mc- 
Fingal, 434. 

Turnbull, Captain George, vindicates 
Cuillerier, 125 ; establishes courts, 




University: founded, 385 ; reorgan- 
ized in 1822, 407; by Constitution 
of 1835, 481 ; law and medical de- 

partments, 532, 555 ; by Constitution 
of 1850, 543, 554. 
Upper Peninsula, 526, 546, 554, 570. 


Van Buren, Martin, Judge Advocate 
on Hull's trial, 306. 

Van Home, Thomas B., major of Ohio 
regiment, 274; at Battle of Browns- 
town, 287, 289. 

Vaudreuil, Philip de Rigaud, Marquis 
de, favors brandy trade, 85. 

Vaudreuil, Pierre de Rigaud, Marquis 

de, furthers settlement of Detroit, 

Vincennes, Sieur de : gallant conduct, 

Vincennes, town and fort, captured by 

Clark, 176. 


Wabishkindibe, name of Henry Con- 
nor, 131, 187. 

Walk-in-the-Water, first steamboat on 
Lake Erie, 395, 400. 

Walk-in-the-Water, Wyandot chief, 

289, 336, 340, 372-3- 

Walker, Hon. Charles I., iv., 555, 561. 

War of 1 81 2, Chaps. XI. and XII. 

War Department, Chap. XI. passim. 

Washington's views on the retention of 
western posts, 189. 

Water ways, the only roads, 58. 

Wawatam, an Indian chief, saves Al- 
exander Henry, 121. 

Wawyachtenok (Waweatanong), old 
name of Detroit, 51, 56, 57. 

Wayne, General Anthony : campaign, 
195; visits Detroit, 197; death and 
preservation of his body, ib. 

Wayne County : established, 205 ; dis- 
franchised on organization of Ohio, 
223-4; re-organized, 382. 

Weld, Isaac, describes Detroit, 213. 

Wendat, or Wyandot, {see Huron). 

Wells, Captain William, killed at Chi- 
cago, 294-5. 

Wells, Colonel, at Frenchtown, 341. 

Wells, Ensign, murdered at French- 
town, 346. 

Wells, Professor, 555. 

Wheat: introduced by Cadillac, 74; 
raised many years on same land, 86. 

Whipping-post, 405. 

Whipple, Commodore, 218. 

Whipple, Major John, 250. 

Whipple, Judge Charles W., 250. 

Whistler, Major John, at Detroit, si- 
lences British battery, 297. 

White River, English to be kept from, 
99, 100, 104. 

Whiting, General Henry, 395, 422. 

Whitney, Charles, plots with Randall 
and others to obtain title to Michi- 
gan, 199. 

Wild-cat banks, 490. 

Willcox, General O. B., 564, 566. 

Wilkins, Ross, Judge : appointed, 435 ; 
first United States District Judge, 

Winchester, General, 337 ; disasters at 

Frenchtown, 335-346. 

Windmills, 216. 

Wing, Austin E., delegate to Congress, 

Winimeg, Indian chief, carries message 

to Chicago, 293. 
Wisconsin, annexed to Michigan, 383 ; 

made Territory, 443. 
Wisner, Moses, Governor, 545, 563. 



Witherell, James, Territorial Judge, 
245 ; Major of Legion, 299 ; paroled, 
304; Secretary of Territory, 417. 

Wolcott, Alexander, 401. 

Women admitted to University, 557. 

Woodbridge, William, Secretary of 
Territory, 376; Judge of Supreme 
Court, 417, 435; delegate to Con- 
gress, 398; Governor, 514, 536; 
Senator, 515, 536, 

Woodward, Augustus B., Judge, Chaps. 
X., XL, XII. and XIU. passim; le- 
gislated out of office, 411. 

Woolfolk, Captain, murdered at 
Frenchtown, 346. 

Wright, John, botanist, 488. 

Wyandot, (see Huron). 

Wyley, Ann, executed by Dejean, 167. 

Zeisberger, David, Moravian missionary, 182.