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MICHIGAN, MY MICHIGAN

MAJ. W. C. RANSOM, 1871

seeking a new home beneath more genial skies and on richer soil, at once impressed on the methods and- institutions of the new State the economy and frugality that have distinguished them in their rugged mountain land. Then Michigan, from shore to shore of the vast inland seas that wash its borders, was one unbroken wilderness. Not unlike that other geographical fiction which up to a recent date mapped western Kansas as a barren desert, where no "eagle could be found to soar, or a single humming bird delighted to flutter, " tradition had revealed central Michigan as an impenetrable swamp, in whose slimy recesses the cowardly wolf held carnival by day, and the ill-omened owl hooted away the lonely vigils of the gloomy night. The same spirit, however, which pushed civilization across the lofty summit of the Alleghanies and into the dark and bloody ground beyond, soon tore away the veil that avarice and ignorance had interposed to the progress of the daring pioneers, and opened up the broad acres of the peninsular state in the interest of progress and enlightenment. Scarcely two score years have passed since the date of which I am speaking, but who could now repress an involuntary smile as he whirled along either of the three splendid lines of railway that now traverse the State from its eastern to its western boundary, in the recollection that only so short a time had elapsed since the rich and fertile district through which he was passing had been surrendered to the muskrats and water-fowls, as their rightful home and inheritance.

MY MICHIGAN


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