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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


Early Exploration THE missionaries as a rule took little interest in the country through which they travelled. They had not that spirit of adventure which leads men into perils and privations, the chances of flood and shipwreck, of torture at the hands of merciless savages for the sake of discovering that which lies beyond the borders of the known. They did not lack courage nor draw back at the prospect of danger, as was shown throughout their whole history of efforts to evangelize America. Their chief concern was not the bringing of new lands to light, but the salvation of immortal souls. They were, however, intent on pushing into unknown regions in search of new fields for their missionary labors.
The Huron tribes occupied the region lying between the upper Ottawa and the Georgian bay arm of Lake Huron. On the shores and islands of the latter they had numerous villages and fishing stations. It was on the eastern shore of Georgian bay that the Recollet friars established a mission among them. Hither Champlain had come in 1618, and from this northernmost point of his travels he turned southward, coursing through these waters on his return to Lake Ontario.
One of the first Europeans to pass beyond the borders of the lands occupied by the Hurons, among which tribes numerous missions had been already established, was Jean Nicollet. He was a native of Cherbourg, France, where he was born in 15 9 8. He was a man full of spirit, daring, and at the same time deeply religious.
He was not a member of the Jesuit order, but had come to Quebec in 1618. Champlain sent him to live among the Indians to learn their language, their customs and to acquire a knowledge of the country, to enable him to serve as an interpreter.

MICHIGAN


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