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MICHIGAN CHAPTER 16

Influx of Settlers

Captain Patrick Sinclair who was in command at Michilimackinac, bought a tract of land upon which he established a depot and supply station. This was called Fort Sinclair and was located at the mouth of Pine river within the limits of the present city of St. Clair. The heirs of General Sinclair afterward laid claim to the lands said to have been bought by him and in the evidence brought in support of that claim it appeared that the land was given to him in lieu of expenses on behalf of the government and to re-imburse him for money paid for the release of colonial prisoners brought into the country by the Indians. However, nothing came of these claims, the matter having never been pressed in the courts. A number of the buildings of this settlement and vestiges of the old earthworks were noted by the later settlers on their arrival in the early part of the nineteenth century.
At about the time of the Fort Sinclair enterprise a number of English and Scotch settlers who had been sent over by Lord Selkirk and who had established themselves at Belladoon on the Chenille Ecarte, Canadian side of the river, crossed over and founded homes for themselves near Algonac. These families were named Stewart, Robinson, Brown, Harrow, Harris, etc. In the summer of 1790 seven Frenchmen with their families established themselves on the: site of the present city of PortHuron. They came up the river in boats bringing their household effects. Their names were Anselm Petit, Francois Lerviere, Batiste Levais, Duchien, Jarvais, Corneais and Moreau. They built cabins, cleared away the forest and soon had land under cultivation. They were a hardy class of peasants who came for the purpose of establishing themselves as farmers. Jarvais erected a sawmill in what is now called Indian creek, but which was then known as Riviere Jarvais.

MICHIGAN


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