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Early Michigan

Oliver Williams

As early as the year 1808, he had established a business at Detroit, purchasing his goods in Boston annually, and carting them overland in covered wagons to Buffalo, thence to Detroit by water, making generally two trips a year on horseback, home and to Boston. During the winter and spring of 1810 and '11, he built at the River Rouge, a large sloop, naming her the Friend's Good Will, and in the summer of 1812, just before the war broke out, went on board of her to the post of Michili-macinack, himself acting as supercargo. At Mackinaw, his vessel was chartered by the government to take military supplies from there to the United States troops at Chicago, and also to bring back to Detroit a cargo-of furs and skins from the factor of the government at Chicago; Lieutenant Hanks, in command of the post, furnished him a box of ammunition, twelve stands of arms, a non-commissioned officer and six men,. as a guard against Indians who were then manifesting hostile intentions, a declaration of war being daily expected.

Michigan


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