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Michigan Chapter Seven

Dangers Which Surrounded the New Settlements

The colony at Detroit was favored in many ways. The governor went in person to Michilimackinac where he conferred with the few French and Indians still living there. Through his influence settlements were established along the Lake Michigan shore. There had been one for many years at the mouth of the St. Joseph but it had not developed to any great extent. Other settlements were formed at the mouth of the Muskegon and at L'Arbre Croche, midway between Little Traverse bay and the Straits of Mackinac. At this point the making of maple sugar was a specialty. It was carried on extensively and with so great care as to cleanliness that it came to have a reputation which commanded for it the highest market price.
A Huron mission had been established at an early day and it continued for many years under the charge of Father de Ia Richardie on Bois Blanc Island at the mouth of the Detroit river. At one period the threatening attitude of the Indians became so alarming that a proposition was seriously made to remove thither the entire fort and settlement of Detroit. But it evidently never got much beyond the stage of suggestion. The attitude of the Indians was largely due to the intrigues of the English. In fact, the English themselves were pushing westward and when they undertook to open up trade at White river and in the Wabash country the French at Detroit felt that defensive measures could not be too speedily set on foot. In i744-'45 matters seemed to be approaching a climax and it was only by the most vigorous efforts to thwart the English designs that actual hostilities were prevented. The time was fast approaching when the final clash of arms between the two European nations on this continent could be no longer avoided. In the meantime the little colony at Detroit struggled along as best it could under the prevailing demoralization of the conflict that was seen to be impending.

Michigan


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