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make a free use of it for cooking and drinking. Why it does not produce almost instant death, it is impossible to conceive; the children near the lake look miserably. The timbered land here approaches within a mile of the lake; four miles from which this stream has a brisk current, and affords situations favourable to mill-seats, or rather water-machinery : the trees are lofty, the land bigh and arable.
Three miles further south is Rocky creek, and two miles still more southerly Sandy creek falls into the lake, wbich here forms a considerable bay. A few French families are settled on the banks of tbese streams, where the soil is good; but that of the uplands is sandy.
Seven miles south of Sandy creek, following the road, but not balf the distance by the lake coast, enters the river Raisin, so called from the vast quantities of grapes that are found upon its banks. It interlocks with the St. Joseph-of-Miami, and Black river, running into lake Michigan, and rises in swamps and small lakes ; fifteen miles from its mouth it receives the river Maçon. The Raisin is about forty-five yards wide, and boatable to within a few miles of a branch of Black river: there is an extensive prairie at its mouth, and several hundred acres of wild rice. The settlements extend from within two miles of the lake to the mouth of the river Maçon; the lots are surveyed in the French mode, being only three Paris arpents* wide op the river, and extending back far enough to contain 100 arpents, or acres, more or less. The inhabitants are mostly French, who raise wheat, Indian corn, and potatoes, more than sufficient for their own consumption; the soil proves to be rich and durable, and the settlements have been blessed with unusual good health. The bottoms are equal to those of the Miami; but the soil of the upland is in many places light and sandy: there are several grist and saw mills on the rivers. The country has been settled about thirty years, and the orchards already yield an abundance of apples; cider and peach brandy are made for exportation. The French settlers, until very lately, did not set a proper value on their improvements ; but would often dispose of them for comparatively a trifling sum. From the river Raisin to the mouth of the Miami is eighteen miles; the first stream is Otter creek, four miles from Raisin : it affords several situations for mills, upon which there are already a number erected. Wapoo creek flows into the lake about two
• One hundred French arpents make 84f American acres.
miles north of Miami bay. Swan creek, which rises pear the head of Otter creek, falls into the Miami four miles from its mouth; this is a brisk stream abounding with mill-seats. The Miami has been noticed in the description of the state of Ohio, and in page 114.
The most considerable bays on the east side of lake Michigan, are those of Sable and Grand Traverse; the last is about twelve miles deep, and four or five broad. Those on the Huron coast are Thunder and Saganum bays; the former has its name from the thunder frequently heard there, and is about nine miles across either way: the latter is forty miles lopg, and from eight to twelve wide. The interior of Michigan peninsula contains a great number of small lakes and poods, from half a mile 10 twelve miles in length, from which issue many of the rivers. The strait connecting lakes Huron and Michigan is fifteen miles long, of an oval figure, and subject to a flux and reflux: lake Michigan has been described in page 30. The island of Michilimackinac is important in a political point of view, being the Gibraltar of the northwest. It is of an elliptical form, about seven miles in circumference, rising gradually to the centre ; its figure suggested to the mind of the Indians its appropriate vame, Alichi Mackina, * (Great Turtle.) The greater part of the island is almost an impenetrable thicket of underwood and small trees, which contribute materially to the defence of the garrison. Fort Holmes stands op a summit of the island, several hundred feet above the level of lake Huron, and is now one of the most formidable positions in the western country. The French were the first settlers, and their descendants, to the number of about 300, reside near the fort.
· Maniton island is situated near the eastern coast of lake Michigan; it is six miles long and four wide, and is held sacred by the Indians.
The Castor islands are a chain of islets, extending from Grand Traverse bay nearly across the lake; they are low and sandy, but afford a shelter for light boats in their passage to Green bay.
Grosse Isle is a valuable alluvion of several thousand acres, being five miles long, and from one to two wide.
• The Indian tradition concerning the name of this little barren island is curious. --They say that Michapous, the chief of spirits, sojourned long in that neighbourhood; and they believe that a mountain on the border of the lake was the place of his residence, which they still call by his name. It was here, say they, that he first instructed men to make nets for fisbing, and where he has collected the greatest quantity of fish. Ou the island he left spirits named Imakinakos, and from these ærial possessors it bas received the appellation of Michiliwackina.. .
Surface, soil, timber, settlements, &c.-There are no mountains in this territory ; but in the centre there is high table land, having a western and northern inclination, interspersed with small lakes and marshes, from which issue the head branches of the rivers. Prairies exist, from the banks of the St. Joseph's to lake St. Clair ; some are of an excellent soil; others, sandy, wet, and sterile. There are, nevertheless, extensive forests of lofty timber, consisting of oak, sugar-maple, beech, ash, poplar, white and yellow pine, hickory, cedar, plom, and black and honey locust. The last flourishes as far north as the margin of lake Huron ; yet east of the Allegany moun, tains, it is never found north of the Delaware. The bottoms and high prairies are equal to those in the state of Iudiana ; but although the soil is pretty fertile throughout the territory, it is only cultivated in the neighbourhood of lakes and rivers. A considerable part of the coast of lake Michigan consists of a range of sand bills, thrown up by the surf and eddying winds. The timbered uplands are well adapted to the production of most kinds of grain, and appear to bear a long series of crops.
The white settlements are chiefly on the strait of Detroit, the rivers Miami, Raisin, Huron, and lake St. Clair; but extend from fort Meigs to lake Huron, separated, however, at short intervals, by woods, or Indian reservations of from three to ten miles in extent. Where the French inbabitants are seated, the lots are narrow, houses thick, only one plantation deep; always fronting the creeks, rivers, and lakes. Hitherto, this territory has not enjoyed the character to which its soil, climate, and advantageous situation for trade, justly entitle it. Time, and the enterprising emigrants, who are now rapidly increasing in numbers, will place its reputation in a proper pojot view. Settlements are now beginning on lakes, Huron and Michigan, and promise to become extensive and permanent.
A military officer who passed from Michilimackinac to Detroit, a distance of 450 miles, in the spring of 1817, describes the lands on Saganum river as of an excellent quality, and most beautifully situated; the river bold and navigable for twenty-one miles, with large prairies from four to six miles deep. From Saganum to Flint river, fifteen miles, a level country, lands excellent and well timbered; from thence to the river Huron, thirty miles from Detroit, a very open country, principally clothed with oak, and no underwood ; interspersed with small beautiful lakes, abounding in fish of a superior quality :
from Huron to Detroit, generally a low flat country, susceptible of being drained and cultivated, the soil deep and rich.
From the river Rouge to lake St. Clair, distant twelve miles, the country resembles the suburbs of a large town, the houses being no more than twenty rods distant from each other, and the greater part of the way much closer, A road has lately been opened from the river Ecorce to the rapids of the Miami, a distance of sixty miles. Upon this road may be found many eligible situations for farms, and stands for taverns; and no where north of the cotton and sugar climate, could agriculturalists find a finer field for enterprise, or a surer prospect of reward.
There is no state or territory in North America so bountifully supplied with fish, water-fowls, and wild game. All the rivers from the Miami-of-the-lakes to the St. Josephs of lake Michigan, afford an inexhaustible supply of fish; to say nothing of the vast lakes which wash 600, miles of its frontier. The trout of Michilimackinac have a superior relish, and unlike most kinds of fish, never cloy the appetite by use; they weigh from ten to seventy pounds, and are taken at all seasons. White fish are canght in prodigious numbers with nets, in the strait of Detroit and lake St. Clair; and there are situations where a person, with a hook or spear, may soon catch as many as he can carry. Sturgeon are common to lakes Erie, St. Clair, Huron, and Michigan.
Myriads of ducks and wild geese frequent the rivers, bays, and lakes, and can be easily shot; for their fears seem to be drowned in the constant din of vociferous quakings, and in the incessant thunder of their wings. Wild turkeys, quails, grouse, pigeons, and hawks, are pumerous; the latter are, perhaps, the most common land bird, the black bird excepted, which in autumn appear in swarms, and are injurious to corn and new sown wheat.
Wild game is plentiful; bears, wolves, elk, deer, foxes, beaver, otter, muskrats, marten, rackoon, wild cats, rabbits, and squirrels, are found in the forests: the beayer freqnents the rivers running into lake Michigan.
Civil divisions, chief town, population, climate, diseases, &c.- This territory is divided into four districts, which, by the census in 1800, contained 3,206 inhabitants; in 1810 they had increased to 4,762 ; being no more than 1,556 in ten years. There is no means of determining with accuracy the present population ; but it probably exceeds 12,000, exclusive of Indians. The settlement of tbis country will not of course, advance rapidly, until many of the new states in the western country are filled up; but such are its natural advantages, that it must attract notice, and ultimately hare a station of considerable importance in the Union.-The following statement will show the relative numbers of inhabitants in the different districts in 1810. Districis.
Population. Chief Town and Population. Detroit.................2,227 .................... Detroit, 770 Erie .....................1,340 Huron ............,
ou .................. 580 Michilimackinac...... 615
4,762, including twenty-four slaves. The town of Detroit is situated on the western side of the strait of St. Clair, or Detroit river, between lakes Erie and St. Clair, eighteen miles above Malden, on the Canada side of the river. The situation of the town is agreeable and romantic; the buildings approach close to the river bank, which is above twenty feet high, abrupt at the lower end of the town, but subsides into a gentle slope near the upper limits, where the plain on which it stands becomes about 500 yards wide. There are three streets running parallel with the river, and these are intersected by six cross streets, besides several lanes. The buildings are of brick, stone, frame, and, in some instances, hewn logs : but two-thirds are frame, some of which are very fine and painted. There are about 350 buildings of all descriptions, exclusive of the suburbs, extending above as far as lake St. Clair, and below as far as the river Rouge, which appear to be a continuation of the town: the principal streets are wide, and most of the houses have picketed gardens in the rear. The ipbabitants are more than half of French extraction; the remainder consists of emigrants and adventurers from various parts of Europe and America.
The public buildings consist of the council-house, a large Romau catholic chapel, a jail, and a goveroment storehouse ; a fine brick building has been lately erected for a state-house. Detroit is a place of very considerable trade; several wooden wharfs project into the river, one of which is 140 feet long, and a vessel of 400 tons burden can approach its head. The stores and shops in the town are well furnished, and you may buy fine cloth, linen, and every article of wearing apparel, as good in their