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A PIONEER MINISTER

BY REV. SUPPLY CHASE
APRIL 21, 1873

A PIONEER MINISTER. SKETCH READ BY REV. SUPPLY CHASE, BEFORE THE DETROIT PIONEER SOCIETY APRIL 21, 1873.

The writer was commissioned in February, 1836, by the American Baptist Home Mission Society as missionary to preach the gospel in Michigan, then a territory.
His field of labor was Pontiac and vicinity. Being anxious to arrive on the field at as early a day as possible, he, with his wife and infant daughter left their home in Onondaga county, 1ST. Y., on the 24th day of April, in a buggy, and after six days' travel, found themselves in Buffalo. This was before the days of railroads, and as the Erie canal would not be open for several weeks, travel by land was the only alternative. The remainder of his family, consisting of two small sons, was left behind. The winter of 1835-6 was one of unusual severity. Although it was the last week in April, the snow drifts were in places from three to six feet deep, and traveling very difficult. At Buffalo, horse, buggy, missionary, wife, and child were shipped on board the steamer United States for Detroit, with many other emigrants, April 30, 1836, and landed at Detroit on the morning of May 2.
These were the glorious days of steamboating, when Wilkins, Blake, and others trod the deck with all the pride and dignity of men to whom was committed almost a nation's destinies.
The United States was the first boat that left the port of Buffalo that season, and Lake Erie, for 15 or 20 miles, was nearly covered with masses of floating ice, making navigation difficult.

Michigan


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