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DETROIT IN 1838

BY HENRY A. FORD

Materials for the study of Detroit fifty years ago do not abound, except in the memories of a few living men. The directory system had yet reached scarcely any of the infant cities west of the Alleghanies; and the paucity and brevity of local sketches in the newspapers of those days afford but narrow fields for investigation. Happily about the time when the. first tentative efforts were made to transform Michigan from a territory to a full fledged state, it entered the intelligent brain of Mr. John T. Blois, teacher of the Detroit Latin and English school, to compile a gazetteer of the incoming commonwealth, as a source of accurate information at home and a guide to immigrants from abroad. The result appeared early in 1839, in a neat 16 mo. volume of 418 pages, apparently printed in New York, and published there by Robinson, Pratt & Co., in Detroit by Messrs. Sydney L. Rood & Co. A few copies of this, in the original covers of figured blue cloth, still exist, and are unique and invaluable relics of the early days of Michigan as a separate state. Mr. Blois brings his statistics and other data, so nearly as he can, down to October, 1838. The state had then provided for thirty nine counties, of which Arenac (but recently organized), Barry, Sanilac, Gratiot, Montcalm, Isabella, Clinton, Gladwin, Oceana and Midland were as yet unorganized.

DETROIT MICHIGAN


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