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Michigan Chapter Seven

Dangers Which Surrounded the New Settlements

This scheme, he says, has great allurements for the governor-general, because it makes him master of commerce. If Michilimackinac were abandoned the savages would no longer resort to Montreal, and consequently the governor would not receive presents from them. All Canada regards Detroit as an obstacle to the re-establishment of the permits; hence their opposition. In response to the many complaints, the governor, Vaudreuil, sent M. d'Aigrement to inspect the frontier posts. He spent nineteen days at Detroit and made a report which shows evident prejudice against Cadillac. He reiterates all the harsh things which his enemies were saying, and finds no kind word to offer for anything. He says that Cadillac is generally disliked by the French and the savages on account of his tyranny; that he is grasping and covetous and oppressive. He charges that Cadillac compels the settlers to pay exorbitant rental and taxes for their lands; that he exacts undue toll at his mill; in short, that he makes the most of his opportunities to squeeze the last sou from his helpless victims. The inspector asserts that there can be no doubt that maintaining the establishment at Detroit is highly prejudicial to Canada, for it has a tendency to divert the Indian trade to the English, and has also introduced the latter to the Miamis, who before that time were always faithful allies of the French. He disputes the account of the fertility of the soil. He says it consists of a sandy surface a few inches in depth with a stiff clay underneath, which the water cannot penetrate; practically it is nothing better than a swamp. The timber consists of small stunted oaks and hardy walnuts. 7 he grasshoppers eat all the garden vegetables, so that it is necessary to plant and sow the same thing over, even to the fourth time. * Even if the land were ever so productive, there is no market and the trade of the post could never be useful to France.

Michigan


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