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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 13

Progress of the Colony Under the Improved Conditions

The number of white settlers is about fifteen hundred. They build on the borders of the strait and occupy about thirteen miles in length on the north and eight on the south side. Th'e houses are all of log or frame work, shingled. The most have their orchards adjoining. The appearance of the settlement is very smiling. On holy days one would be tempted to think the inhabitants very fond of cleanliness, for they in general dress beyond their means. Almost every one has a calache for summer and a cariole for winter. They use oxen and horses indifferently for the plow. "Regulations for the trade with the Indians are either not generally known or not duly enforced. For example great abuses exist in the weights and measures used by traders, and for want of an office to> stamp the silver work, which make a considerable article in the trade with the savages, they get their trinkets so debased by copper as to lay open a large field for complaint. The number of traders not being limited allows of many engaging in it who have no principle of honesty and who impose on these poor people in a thousand ways, to the disgrace of the name of trader among the savages, which usually means with them an artful cheat. The distrust and disgust conceived for these traders occasions many disputes which frequently end in murder. This trade being lucrative engages several who have little or no capital of their own to procure credit, sometimes to a considerable amount. Their ignorance or dishonesty or both, occasion frequent failures. The adventurers then decamp to some other post where they re-commence the same traffic, improving in art and villany.
It is interesting to note that in this same report he mentions the arrival of a party composed of white men and educated Indians who brought a letter from the Virginia congress soliciting the confederacy of western Indians to go to a council to be held at Pittsburgh.

MICHIGAN


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