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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


Their little vessel left in charge of the pilot was soon afterward wrecked. This was a serious mishap, for La Salle had planned to build a vessel to navigate Lake Erie and the ropes, chains, anchors, etc., which he had brought for th'e purpose were thereby lost to him. The whole party spent the winter at Lewiston and from that camp La Motte returned, on account of trouble with his eyes. The vessel in which Hennepin and his party had come to Niagara was hauled ashore and her lading taken out and packed overland to a point not far from the mouth of Black river. Here a place was cleared and the master-carpenter set about the building of a ship. The entire winter was consumed on this work and early in the spring a ship of 45 tons burden was launched and christened the "Griffon, " in honor of the armorial bearings of Count Frontenac. In the meantime La Salle had gone on foot to Fort Frontenac, leaving Tonty in command. He returned in August and on the 7th of that month embarked with his party and set forth with high hopes on their voyage across Lake Erie. On the fourth day out they entered the Strait of Detroit and Hennepin describes the prospect as most enchanting. "Those, " he says, "who will one day have the happiness to possess this fertile and pleasant strait will be very much obliged to those who have shown them the way. " The men hunted on shore and brought in abundance of game to replenish the larders of the little craft. They encountered a storm on Lake Huron which gave them a bad scare but did no serious damage. The Griffon preceded northward and in a few days came to anchor behind Point St. Ignace where the voyagers found the palisades with the house and chapel of the Jesuits and the near-by villages of the Hurons and Ottawas.

MICHIGAN


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