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THE LIFE OF HON. RIX ROBBINSON A PIONEER OF WESTERN MICHIGAN

BY GEORGE H. WHITE

The chief himself brought him more fur than any other three Indians, as he was a great hunter and trapper. If any of the tribe came around a little full and was boisterous a look from him to the chief resulted in such Indian, being seized by the chief and carried outside. This illustrates not only his general knowledge of human nature but his special knowledge of the Indian character.
The business of the post resulted so well that when his furs, skins and peltries were carried in to Mackinac, they were received with great surprise. Mr. Astor was not there. Mr. Stuart sought to keep him in their employ, but Mr. Robinson had resolved to be his own master.
His white guest had some acquaintance with the tobacco trade among the Indians as carried on at that time from St. Louis, and had told him whatever he knew, enveloped in such roseate hues as to fill Mr. Robinson with a desire to enter into that trade as the most lucrative that he could well enter. Mr. Robinson drew all of his funds out, went to St. Louis and bought a quantity of tobacco and some supplies and went into business again as an independent Indian trader, and pursued it among them during the season of 1819. The profit he made selling tobacco to the Indians increased his capital to a point sufficient to enable him to again start in business on his own account as an Indian trader. In looking around for a location, he concluded that a post on the Calumet river, in what is now South Chicago, would be among the most desirable and advantageous, so he commenced there in the autumn. His winter's business was so good that he found himself able to establish another station down on the Illinois river, about twenty five miles from its mouth, in 1820, and also one in Wisconsin, at or near where Milwaukee now stands.

Michigan


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