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EARLY SETTLEMENT OF SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN

BY A. B. COPLEY.
June 7, 1882.

This is supposed to be near the northeast part of Cass county, or northwest part of St. Joseph county. This journey, made 202 years ago, is the first crossing of the lower peninsula by a civilized party. La Salle returned to the fort November 4 of the same year, and after a visit to Illinois spent the winter of 1680-1 in improving the fort and getting out timber for a vessel. In May he left for the east by water, returned in November, and in December started on his famous voyage, during which he traced the Mississippi to its mouth, which he reached April 9, 1682; returning to the fort September 1, and after a voyage to Mackinaw, leaving it for the last time. For eighty years there is not a continuous recorded history of occupation by whites. The Jesuits had a mission station there in the latter part of the 18th" century; still the accounts are meagre. The founding of Detroit in 1701 led to the departure of the Miami Indians, or at' least part of them, as Cadillac encouraged Indians to settle near his fort. The country after the departure of the Miamis, was occupied by the Pottawattomies, who previously had lived-in the region near Green Bay, who held the country till ceded to the whites—a period of about 125 years. By the treaty of peace made by the French with the English, in 1760*, three forts were ceded, Detroit, Mackinaw, and St. Joseph being the only ones named in the treaty within the bounds of Michigan; and in the fall of 1761 Fort St. Joseph was taken possession of by the English.

MICHIGAN


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