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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 15

Michigan Under British Rule

I have never known any advantage result from changing the names of places long inhabited by the same people. " Sinclair's jurisdiction extended to Fort St. Joseph, to which he sent officers and a small garrison to keep the Pottawatomies in check. He had supervision over the traders who frequented the Saginaw bay, though it does not appear that there was at that time any settlement of whites in that locality. -In 1780 he sent an expedition made up largely of traders and Indians to attack the Spanish settlements on the lower Mississippi. When they reached St. Louis a party of volunteers and traders attacked the defenceless town and seven whites were killed and eighteen were taken prisoners and sent to work on the new fort at Michilimackinac. The affair amounted to little, but it provoked retaliation. In January 1781 Don Francisco Cruzat, the Spanish military commander of the western posts, sent an expedition against Fort St. Joseph. The winter-march of this expedition four hundred miles across the bleak and frozen prairies must have been a toilsome and weary undertaking. But they accomplished the trip and found Fort St. Joseph so ill defended that its capture was a matter of no difficulty. The English colors on the flag staff gave place to the standard of Spain and the place and its dependencies were taken possession of in the name of the Spanish king. This is the only instance on record of Spanish supremacy over the soil of Michigan. But it was of short duration. The Spaniard vanished as quickly and silently as he came and left no trace behind. De Peyster planned a vigorous campaign which included the co-operation of Sinclair from Fort Mackinac, who was to send down parties of his upper lake Indians to join with those from below in active operations against Colonel Clark and the dwellers along the Ohio.

MICHIGAN


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