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French in Michigan

French Settlements

The Mississippians, who represented the views of a powerful party or interest, appear in the double capacity of explorers of distant regions, and of pastors of the Indians, whom they desired to keep separate from the Frenchmen who traversed the country. Their opposition to French settlements was no doubt due to their fears that the Indians would become demoralized by them; but they became valuable pioneers in exploring, and, whether first in the field or not, on which there is some dispute, they, beyond question, furnished much of the earliest reliable geographical knowledge preserved in the maps and relations of the period. Father Marquette, who was among the most eminent of those connected with our early history, took a prominent part in founding these missions. His death, at the mouth of the river named after him, and his burial in the chapel at St. Ignace, were events which will always keep his name prominent in our annals as one of the few distinguished men of those days who lived and died in our territory.

Early Michigan


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