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French in Michigan

French Settlements

For various reasons both the religious and secular officials were opposed to the settlement of remote posts. A system of personal oversight was maintained over every man who came into the country, and there is no instance recorded, and probably none existed, where any one ever settled down in the wilderness as a squatter or pioneer, and cleared a farm for himself. There were no farming settlements except under restricted and fixed regulations, and every one who went into the woods, licensed or unlicensed, went as a roving adventurer and not as a settler. The number of these roving people must at times have been not much, if any, less than that of the fixed inhabitants near the sea-shore. In this—contrary to our later experience—the Canadian colonists differed radically from the English. These, in the early days, seldom became hunters or trappers in any great numbers. Even after the cession of New York by the Dutch, the English exploring expeditions contained more Dutch than English rovers, and the Dutchmen were much more successful in dealing with the Indians, who got along very well with them and with the French, but not so well with Englishmen.

Early Michigan


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