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French in Michigan

French Settlements

As these were the first, so they were the only missions which preceded the important military and civil settlements during the French period. There were miner stations subsequently founded at L'Anse, L'Arbu Creche, and other points on lake Michigan, but none that had any historical importance. The post at Mackinaw became almost immediately important for mil-ilary purposes; as the villages of the principal Indian tribes of the north were gathered about the straits, which was the road for canoes coming and going in all quarters, no point was at first so central for the traders. Mackinaw became at once, and continued until Detroit was founded, the great centre of Indian traffic. This made it necessary to have the government represented by skillful and brave officers, who might prevent tribal jealousies and disturbances, and cultivate relations with the tribes to secure their friendship and alliance. As early as 1671 a great carnival was held at Sault Ste. Marie with the upper lake Indians, by St. Lusson, who was sent to the north-west to hunt for the South sea, at the same time that LaSalle and others were started towards the Ohio.

Early Michigan


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