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French in Michigan

French Settlements

Men of all ranks and conditions swarmed in—mostly those who were anxious to better their doubtful fortunes, and many who were uneasy under the restraints of the intolerable burdens on French industry. A great many veteran officers and soldiers were discharged or retired, and found it difficult to live in comfort upon their unprofitable estates. The policy of the country had made trade an honorable calling, and the impoverished noblesse who could not always obtain a footing in the companies, or a share in the legitimate trade of the country, found themselves in a measure compelled to resort to some kind of enterprise to procure a living. The result was that quite early in the colonial times the whole country was visited and explored by intelligent adventurers, whose knowledge of its condition, though for obvious reasons never officially published, enabled the subsequent explorers to proceed more boldly and directly in the line of their journeys.

Early Michigan


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