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French in Michigan

French Settlements

The French policy was chiefly directed, so far as the back country was concerned, to managing and controlling the fur trade and its supplementary branch of a return barter with the Indians. All of this trade was a monopoly, confined to favored persons or companies, and at no time opened to general competition. As a matter of universal experience, such monopolies always raise up a formidable irregular trade; and in this region the persons concerned in the illicit business were those of the highest rank and importance, who generally managed to protect their own emissaries and associates, and procure for them sooner or later such advancement as was possible in the colony. The immigrants that came in considerable numbers from various parts of France, but chiefly from Normandy and the other northern and northwestern provinces, were to an unusual extent men of intelligence and enterprise.

Early Michigan


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