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Michigan Chapter Seven

Dangers Which Surrounded the New Settlements

In 1664 they went to Boston, then the center of English enterprise in America and sought to interest the merchants of that town in their plans. They finally succeeded in chartering a ship which sailed as far as Hudson straits. But the master was too timid to continue the voyage and it proved a failure. Upon their return to Boston it happened that there were two royal commissioners there, sent over by Charles II to settle some disputed questions. One of these commissioners was Sir George Carteret, a man of prominence and influence in court circles. He was interested in the disclosures of Groseilliers and Radisson. Through his advice they decided to visit England. Carteret secured for them an audience with the king. At this stage of affairs the Dutch came upon the scene and sought to induce Groseilliers and Radisson to join an expedition which they were contemplating. This offer they declined, having succeeded in interesting Prince Rupert, the king's cousin, in their plans. In 1667 the Hudson's bay project was set on its feet and among the first subscribers to stock were Prince Rupert and other members of the royal family, as well as their personal friends among the nobility. * Two ships were chartered by the merchant adventurers—the Eaglet and the Nonesuch. Radisson sailed on the former and Groseilliers on the latter. It is a curious fact that the captain of the Nonesuch was Zachariah Gillam, the New England captain of the ship which had sailed from Boston in 1664 and who became weak-kneed and backed out after reaching Hudson strait. On this later expedition it was the captain of the Eaglet who showed the white feather and before reaching his destination turned about and sailed for home. The Nonesuch entered and explored the bay. The party landed, made a treaty with the Indians, established a post and built a stone fort, where they remained through the winter. In the spring they returned, going first to Boston and thence to London.

Michigan


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