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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 13

Progress of the Colony Under the Improved Conditions


WHEN the English government assumed control over the possessions acquired from France in America they were divided into four separate districts. That with which we are dealing was known as Quebec, with headquarters in the city of that name. The western limit of this district was at Lake Nipissing, beyond which there were at that time no settlements. The Hudson's Bay Company had securely established its authority in the country which it occupied. It was industriously engaged in developing the trade in the most profitable and successful manner. Following closely the end of French control, the English were quick to seize upon the opportunities for traffic. English and Dutch traders flocked in from Albany. They employed the French wood rangers and coureurs be dots who had had life-long experience in dealing with the Indians for peltries. The English placed no restrictions upon the trade, as had the French. Passes to go into the country were granted as a matter of course to all who could give reasonable security for observing established regulations. Controversies had arisen between the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company, as to the boundary line between the two, which was not clearly defined, and some friction developed in consequence. This trouble was finally adjusted by uniting the stock and control of the two companies in the same hands. There was no effort to fill up the country with permanent settlers. In fact, by proclamation of the king nearly all this region had been reserved to the Indian tribes. It was the policy of the government to give the natives possession of the principal portion of their hunting grounds to be retained for their exclusive occupancy. The tribes were expected to sustain themselves by hunting and fishing.

MICHIGAN


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