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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 13

Progress of the Colony Under the Improved Conditions

At present I am told there are about two thousand sheep and three; thousand head of black cattle in the settlement. The backwardness in the improvement of farming has probably been owing to the easy and lazy method of procuring the bare necessaries. Wood was at hand; the inhabitants therefore neglected to raise stone and burn lime which is to be had at their doors. The strait is so plentifully stocked with a variety of fine fish that a few hours' amusement may furnish several families, yet not one French family has got a seine. Hunting and fowling afford food to numbers who are nearly as lazy as the savages who are rarely prompted to the chase till hunger pinches them. The soil is so good that great crops are raised by careless and very ignorant farmers. Wheat, Indian corn, barley, oats, peas, buckwheat yield a great increase. Yet there is no such thing as yet as a piece of land laid down for meadow and the last winter indeed, a remarkably severe one for this country, several of the cattle perished for want of fodder. There are very extensive prairies in the settlement, but so many natural advantages have hitherto appeared rather to encourage sloth than excite industry. The great advantages to be drawn from the management of bees has never induced any to try them here, though there are wild bees in great numbers and the woods are full of blossoming shrubs, wild flowers and aromatic herbs. As to the climate, it is by far the most agreeable I have ever known. The inhabitants may thank the bountiful hand of providence for melons, peaches, plums, pears, apples, mulberries, grapes, besides several sorts of smaller fruits. Several of these grow wild in the woods. Those which have got a place in gardens are after being stuck in the ground committed to the care of the climate, so are perpetually degenerating.

MICHIGAN


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