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Gratiot County Michigan

Gratiot County

A proclamation immediately followed, that every one who had purchased land under this act must reside upon it within one year from the date of purchase, or forfeit it. This was very oppressive and ill-timed. Hundreds of men with large families were thus summarily hurried into the woods, some of them without sufficient means left to buy a meal. The country south of this as far as the capital was comparatively new, but little if any more provisions being there than was necessary for their own consumption. It therefore became a serious question where to procure food, especially without money. The people soon began to complain of hard times. Provisions of all kinds were scarce. The nearest mill to which the people could get their small grists of corn ground was at Matherton, in Ionia county, making a journey of from thirty or forty miles for a large portion of the inhabitants. Many families ground their corn for bread for a long time in coffee mills; others grated it on graters, and many a corn-cake was made and eaten, the meal of which was made by planing the corn from the ear. Language will fail to picture the hardships endured and the heroism displayed by both men and women during those two or three years.

Michigan Counties


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