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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


He traversed the unknown wilds of southern Michigan and reaching the Huron river he and his companions built a canoe in which the party floated down the stream until their progress was barred by sunken logs and prostrate trunks of trees. Striking out thence across the country he reached the banks of the Detroit which he crossed on a raft, pursuing his way to Point Pelee. Here he built a canoe which enabled him to arrive safely at his point of first departure on the Niagara. So it is seen that La Salle was not only one of the first to navigate and explore th'e coasts of the lower peninsula of Michigan, but he was the first of all white men, so far as known,, to penetrate its interior. It would be interesting, did it fall in line with the scope of this work, to follow his subsequent career. In the spring of 1682 he with Tonty and others, navigated the Illinois to its union with the Mississippi, and thence down the latter stream and into the Gulf of Mexico, thus establishing definitely the outlet of the great river, which had been before in controversy. The end of the intrepid explorer was a sad one. He was shot from ambush by one of his treacherous followers in 1687. Tonty who shared with him the hardships and privations of his frontier life, also shares with him the honors which are his due. He was a brave and devoted lieutenant and deserved the confidence which he enjoyed. Daniel Greysolon du Lhut, or Duluth, as he is now commonly known, was a native of Lyons and a cousin of Tonty. He had come to New France in 1676, influenced by business considerations. He traveled extensively among the Indians of the lake country and negotiated profitable purchases of peltries for his employers. He explored the country of the Sioux and took possession of it in the name of France. In 1679 he built a trading fort on the north shore of Lake Superior, the present site of Fort William. In 1686, by order of the governor, Denonville, he built a fort at the outlet of Lake Huron, the site of the later Fort Gratiot at Port Huron. This he named Fort St. Joseph. He led a very active life which brought him intimately among the Indians of the lake region. His associations with them were most amicable for many years.

MICHIGAN


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