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Early Michigan

Oliver Williams

Our little party of explorers selected their farms, searched out the surveyors' lines and marked corners, returned to Detroit and entered the land at the U. S. land office. The price was two dollars per acre, only part being required to be paid down. That fall and winter (which was a very warm and open winter, scarcely any frost or snow until March,) my father built on his farm at Silver lake, a double house of hewn logs, 20x50 feet, one-and-a-half stories high, and in March moved his family from Detroit into it. The next fall Gen. Cass made the Saginaw Treaty with the Indians, and on the return of the party, stopped over night at our house. Our family, comprising thirteen persons, had all been sick for months with shaking ague—you all well know from experience what it was. The mother of the Indians who brought me the war club which I have shown you, came daily for weeks and sympathized with my mother, bringing us medicinal roots and herbs, also fresh venison, birds, honey, and every species of berries the woods afforded, a free offering of real friendship and kindness. Her husband, a great hunter, was killed in 1824 by a bear, and was buried on our farm.

Michigan


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