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

BY GEORGE H. WHITE

Mr. Robinson had become the head of the firm (located at Grand Haven in 1835) of Robinson, White & Williams, as he was painfully reminded when he had to pay upwards of 8O,000 of its indebtedness out of his own pocket.
Thus we see Mr. Robinson at the time of the foundation of this State, an ex-Indian trader, engaged in making a large, beautiful farm of several hundred acres, a large landholder, the part proprietor of a village, the head of a large mercantile establishment, and the official head of a new township whose destiny to become a rich, thriving, populous country was even then to be foreseen.
Mr. Robinson had as early as 1835 entered with all of his energy into the matter of turning emigration to western Michigan, and had procured the emigration of six of his brothers, with their families, in all forty two persons, from Cayuga county, N. Y., in 1835, coming in one vessel from Detroit, the schooner St. Joseph. They located and became farmers at different points between the mouth of Grand river and Flat river, one of its tributaries. This was the inciting cause of a large emigration from that portion of western New York, during the next two years, of some of our most valued inhabitants.
Mr. Robinson was largely instrumental in securing the making of the treaty -of Washington with the Indians in 183G accompanying them to Washington for that purpose. By that treaty more than half of the area of the lower peninsula was ceded by the Indians to the general government, for a full, fair consideration. By it was reserved special tracts to a number of different persons, including 640 acres to the Indian family of Mr. Robinson.

Michigan


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