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Michigan Chapter Seven

Dangers Which Surrounded the New Settlements

New France profited well by this condition of affairs, for it was the means of bringing over some of the best blood of the nation. Some notable names were added to the list of those dwelling in the little settlement on the Strait and they are still found in our city directory. Among these were Robert Navarre, of royal blood, Dr. Henry Bellisle, Dr. Jean Chapoton, together with the Chenes, Cicottes, Campaus, Godefrois, Guoins, Picards Rivards, Riopelles, Morans, Dequindres, Resumes, La Fontaines, Lorangers and many others, whose descendants still remain. The new settlers swarmed in in considerable numbers and the limits of the town were extended. The first rude fort had been replaced by another, after having suffered from fire and assault, and this by still another of much greater strength, and enlarged capacity. The Marquis of Beauharnois became governor and Hocquart was made intendant. Both these men were liberal and sensible and appeared to have a just appreciation of the colonists and their struggles and difficulties. The people appreciated the beneficient administration of affairs and it can be truly said that matters moved along smoothly during this period. The most exciting event was the presence of smallpox which wrought great havoc among the Indians and proved to be of serious consequence to the inhabitants of the town. In 1749 the government undertook to send over emigrant farmers and to provide them with seeds and tools. Lands were granted for ten miles up and down, the river. These new comers were largely from Normandy, a frugal and industrious class, who brought their good qualities with them, to the manifest advantage of the colony. Among the good things which they brought over and by which their descendants have profited were fruit trees. All the old French farms on both sides of the Detroit river had orchards of most excellent fruit. Some of the ancient pear trees still remain, bearing abundantly after the lapse of more than a century and a half. During the governorship of Beauharnois considerable enlightened attention was paid to the improvement of conditions in the lake region.

Michigan


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