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MICHIGAN AS A PROVINCE 1 - 5


He spent nine years among the Nipissings, a tribe which dwelt northward of the Hurons. In 1634 Champlain sent him on an exploring expedition to the westward, partly to find out if there was a waterway which led into the Sea of China, and partly to make the acquaintance of the tribes living in the region beyond Lake Huron, with1 a view to establishing trade in peltries. In the summer of that year he voyaged in a bark canoe, with an escort of seven Hurons to St. Mary's river which he ascended to the outlet of Lake Superior. Thence he returned down the river and coasted the south shore of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to Michilimackinac and thence by Lake Michigan to Green bay in Wisconsin. He was the first white man, so far as recorded, to visit this region, or to set foot on the soil of Michigan.
After landing on the shore of Green bay he pushed on to the westward. He had been told by the Indians that there were strange peoples living far beyond and known as the "Tribe of the Sea. " These men had no beards, shaved their heads, wore peculiar costumes and came over a vast extent of water in canoes made of wood, instead of bark. From these descriptions Nicol-let was convinced that these people were Chinese and that the previous theories of reaching China by this route were about to be verified. These "Men of the Sea" afterward proved to be the Winnebagoes, but it is remarked that so sure was Nicollet that he was to be brought into the presence of Chinese when he first met them that he had clothed himself in a large garment of China damask strewn with flowers and birds of various colors. The expected Asiatics proved to be no other than ordinary red skins.

MICHIGAN


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