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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


The proposition was once entertained favorably to send them to colonize the French possessions beyond the sea, and fortunate would it have been for mother country if this had been done. But the intense prejudice against Protestants intervened and, not only were they not sent, in but they were absolutely excluded from entering the country. The missionary spirit took precedence of the colonizing spirit. The Recollet friars of Paris were favored by the authorities and four members of that body arrived at Quebec in 1615. In 1618 Pope Paul IV accorded, at the instance of the French ambassador, the charge of missions in Canada to the Recollets. They visited the Hurons with Champlain and established missions among that tribe on the eastern shore of Lake Huron. As this nation dwelt in the region spreading around the shores and visited the islands of the northern extremity of the Lake, it seems quite probable that the missionaries were the first white men to view the shores of Michigan. The statement has been made by his biographer, on what is now regarded as doubtful authority, that Champlain himself sailed down the east shore of Lake Huron and coursed through the connecting waterways and the Strait of Detroit on his return to Ontario. It seems certain that he knew the connection between Lake Huron and the lower lakes, though his maps do not show it with geographical accuracy.
The missions extended to the islands above Georgian bay, and following the Indians in their migrations the missionaries must also have crossed over to the west shore of Lake Huron and established the services of the Church in the villages and more or less permanent settlements of the savages. Several of these religious men lived and died among the natives.

MICHIGAN


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