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French in Michigan

French Settlements

About this same time two of the intended companions of LaSalle, Dollier and Galinee, visited the neighborhood of Detroit, but made no stay and returned eastward through Canada. The next settlement, in point of time, was made in 1679 by LaSalle, at the mouth of St. Joseph's river. This was during the course of the expedition which set out from Niagara river in the Griffin, famous as the first sailing vessel that ever came westward. The traditions relate that LaSalle was urged by some of his companions to establish himself on Detroit river, but that his instructions would not permit it. As he immediately thereafter set up posts at the St. Joseph and on the Illinois river, which were regarded as valuable, it is probable that at the time of his passage the Indian settlements in the vicinity of Detroit were not as eligible for trading purposes as those near lake Michigan, and the country was somewhat exposed to the incursions of the Iroquois. As he sent some of his men ahead of him to winter near Detroit, there must have been Indians and possibly Frenchmen in the country; but the strange habit of the early writers who described their own voyages,

Early Michigan


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