Blue Water Healthy Living

BWHL OTTISSIPPI Excerpt Ch. 8: Early Detroit and Canada

By Cheryl Morgan

OTTISSIPPI is written by local author – Cheryl Morgan. It is the New Native History and culture of Southeast Michigan and beyond that has been untold. It was inaccessible due to the complexity of the many tribes, governments, states, and boundaries. The history was hidden and scattered everywhere due to time and the many changes of names of waterways, peoples and places. It is the result of 4 years of intense groundbreaking research that clarifies and reveals what happened here and in the Northwest Territory. Now available in one volume! Non-fiction 643 pages.

BWHL will be sharing excerpts from OTTISSIPPI with the readers every other week. The book is available on

It is available as an eBook with a searchable Table of Contents and in Print – paperback.

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The Detroit Indians or Chippewas were the Black River and Swan Creek people from along the Strait, the Detroit or Detret.

“Detroit was the home of many Indians. The Wyandotte (Huron) had large villages in the now Detroit area and West Lake Erie. The islands were all inhabited as were all the waterways.

The Hurons and Ottawas were excellent farmers and raised large quantities of corn. In 1714, twenty-four hundred bushels were sent from Detroit. Other years the provisions were very scarce due to the numbers of people gathered here” (Farmer).

“They play very deep (gros jeu), and often the bets sometimes amount to more than eight hundred livres. They set up two poles and commenced the game – lacrosse. From the center, one party propels the ball from one side and the other from the opposite and which ever, reaches the goal, wins (each man or woman having a racket). This is fine recreation and worth seeing. They often play village against village, the Poux – Pottawatomi against the Outaoues – Ottawas or the Hurons and lay heavy stakes. Sometimes Frenchmen join in the game with them.

The women cultivate Indian corn, beans, peas, squashes, and melons which come up fine. The women and girls dance at night, adorn themselves considerably, grease their hair, put on a white shift, paint their cheeks with vermillion, and wear whatever wampum they possess and are very tidy in their way.

The old men often dance the Medelinne (Medicine Dance). The young men often dance in a circle (le tour) and strike posts; it is then they recount their achievements and dance at the same time the War Dance (Des Decouvertes), and whenever they act thus they are highly ornamented. The dancing lasts almost the entire night. In the winter, they go hunting; they carry their apaquois (mat grass) rolled up for their shelter with them to hut under at night. Everybody follows: men, women and children, and winter in the forest and return in the spring.


Cadillac established the French Detroit in 1701, building Fort Ponchartrain in 1703. “When first settled, the location was named Fort Ponchartrain in honor of Count Ponchetrain, the colonial French minister of Marine. As the number of inhabitants grew into a village, it received its present name from the word Detroit or Strait. Its popular cognomen, the City of the Straits was thence derived. The early French colonists applied the name Detroit to the settlements on both sides of the river, calling one North Detroit and the other South Detroit” (Farmer 1884).

“In 1702, there were 6,000 people in the Detroit region (this would have included the Indians)” (Cadillac/C.M. Burton 1896).

“Farms were laid out along the River Detroit and St. Clair River in long strips called ribbon farms. This gave all the farms access to the river for water and transportation. Several cotes – settlements – were separated by creeks, swamps, or Indian villages. The farms were usually only four acres wide.

The soil is so good that great crops are raised by careless and very ignorant farmers. There is no such thing as a meadow, and last winter cattle perished for want of fodder. There are very extensive prairies in the settlement but so many natural advantages appear to encourage sloth, than excite industry. Bees are in great number and the woods full of blossoming shrubs, wild flowers, and aromatic herbs. The inhabitants may thank the bountiful Land of Providence for melons, peaches, pears, apples, mulberries, and grapes grew besides several sorts of smaller fruits. Several of these grow wild in the woods.

So numerous and large indeed in the vicinity of Detroit, were the wild bison’s, that the making of garments from their wool was seriously considered” (Farmer, pg. 11).

Canoeing on the river was a favorite pastime; there were barbecues and pony racing on the ice. Crowds gathered along the channel; there was tremendous excitement and betting.

“The French were happy go lucky; he satisfied his stomach and let the world take care of itself. He had no ambition beyond his modest sphere of life. There was luxuriant virgin soil and cattle starved in winter. He drove a shaggy pony who was exceedingly tough and hardy and able to pick up its living year-round.

There were little gardens in front of the houses, kitchen gardens in back. Under windows flourished hollyhocks, bachelor buttons, and other gaudy flowers. Everything which drew its sustenance from the earth grew vigorously. The Detroit French were educated Noblesse.

There were several hundred French residents in 1760 when the settlement was ceded to the British, who did not leave until 1796. The English policy discouraged western settlement. The Indians were to be left alone to work the fur trade, without molestation. The American British did not agree and began surveying the land they had received as charters of the King.

In 1755, when the English banished the Acadians of Nova Scotia, many fugitives found a home in Detroit.

In 1757, Bougainville describes the foot races of the day: ‘there are in Detroit some foot races between Indians and Canadians and they are as celebrated as those of horses in England; they take place in the spring. From 500 to 1,500 Indians are generally present at them. The length of the race is one mile and a half (go and return) from Detroit to the village of the Pottawatomi’s. The road is broad and beautiful; there are some posts fixed in the ground at both extremities. The bets are very high on each side and consist of furs on one part and French merchandise on the other for the use of the Indians. The most celebrated racer is a Frenchman named Campau; his superiority is so well recognized that he is no more admitted into the races.’

  1. Bouganville in 1757 says, ‘there are two hundred habitations abundantly supplied with cattle, grain, and flour. The farmers can raise as many cattle as they want, as there is abundant pasture. They gather, in ordinary years, 2,500 measures of wheat and much corn and oats.’

The stores contained finery of all sorts. Corn was ground at the windmill” (Utley).

Bancroft, the historian, related the Detroit and St. Clair Districts previous to 1763: “of all the inland settlements, Detroit was the largest and most esteemed. The deep majestic river [. . .] imparted a grandeur to a country whose rising grounds and meadows [. . .] woodlands, brooks and fountains were so mingled together that nothing was left to be desired. The climate was mild and the air salubrious. Good land abounded yielding maize, wheat, and every vegetable”.

“The forests were natural parks stocked with buffalo, deer, quail, partridge, wild turkey, and water fowl of delicious flavor hovered along its streams, which streams also yielded to the angler a large quantity of fish particularly white fish. There every luxury of the table might be enjoyed at the sole expense of labor” (Farmer).


“The area was no longer legally French, in 1763; much of the waterfront lands had been claimed. The Indians were still dominant in their lands.

“The British claimed the Northwest in 1764 from the French. The French Loyalists moved to French-held lands in Louisiana Territory. “The Illinois Indians had a very large empire at Cahokia, east of St. Louis in Illinois. There were 120 mounds and 30,000 people; it was a great trading center. There were plazas and a woodhenge for astrological observances, the calendar and town clock in the square. Monks mound is 10 stories high and 5.6 hectares at the base, about 14 acres” (Canadian History, Open Textbooks, Pays d’en Haut, www).

In 1764, when Laclede founded St. Louis, many went from Detroit, reducing the town population and vicinity from two thousand five hundred to eight hundred including Indians. In 1765, there were about 350 families at Detroit and in the immediate neighborhood” (Farmer 1884).

In 1764, Captain Patrick Sinclair, the Detroit Commandment, obtained title to over four thousand acres of land on the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair.

Individuals were not allowed to purchase land directly from the Indians, tribal grants could only be received if the Indians would first cede their land to the Crown. Then the settler could request a grant from the King represented by the superintendent of Indian Affairs or the Governor of Quebec. While this policy was geared to protect the Indians, loopholes allowed clever individuals to acquire almost any land.

In spite, of official policy, settlement along the straits, had increased by the 1780s. The official grants were not all settled. Some grants were poor or swamp and, although recorded, had been vacated for other lands. Many soldiers, artisans, and voyageurs were not farmers but were involved in the fur trade.

In 1771, General Thomas Gage had declared all previous grants issued by the previous English commandments were null and void for not conforming to official regulations. French grants were approved only if they had been recognized by the Governor of Canada and registered. Grants issued by the last commandment, Bellestre, were invalid. Gage emphasized that the French nor the English allowed private purchases from the Indians and the tribes were told that the King as tender of their property was protecting them by these practices. The Indians persisted in giving gifts of land to reward their friends.

Many soldiers who wanted to come to the Detroit region were not able to be accommodated, as land grants were not available. ‘Who must fly the place if land is not granted to them’.

The wild and reckless Coureurs De Bois’ – traders’ – fondness for ardent spirits were in common with their Indian friends. They were addicted to a plurality of wives” (Utley). In 1773, the population was 1,285, with half in the immediate area of the Fort. The settlement across the river had 465 people at Windsor – Sandwich and Amherstburg, Ontario.

In 1778, a census was taken of the settlement of Detroit by Governor Hamilton. It showed 172 male servants, 39 female servants, and 127 slaves, a total population of 2,144. There were 478 oxen, 885 cows, 650 heifers and steers, 470 sheep, and 1,312 hogs.

A survey of the Detroit settlement in 1779 was 239 in garrison and navy, 500 prisoners and extras, 1,810 population, 138 slaves, 413 oxen, 779 cows, 361 steers, 1076 hogs, 664 horses, and 313 sheep.

In 1780, there was 12,083 acres of land under cultivation, 175 slaves, 1,922 population with 100 absent in Indian country, 772 horses, 474 oxen, 793 cows, 361 steers, 279 sheep, and 1016 hogs.

In 1780, the people were near starvation in the winter and Lieutenant Governor Sinclair asked for assistance from the King’s stores. The same year, however, 12,883 acres of land were reported as under cultivation. Detroit was a settlement of 2,000 people in 1780.

Immense pear trees were abundant, a hundred feet and more in height and one to three feet thick. Almost every farmer had from one to a half dozen, of these trees, producing from 30 to 50 bushels each” (Farmer 1884).

In 1782, the settlement at Detroit census was 179 slaves, 2,012 population, 1112 horses, 413 oxen, 453 heifers, 447 sheep, 1370 hogs, 4075 bushels of wheat sown last fall, 521 acres, Indian corn, 1,849 acres in oats, and 13,770 acres under cultivation. 3,000 bushels of potatoes was supposed to be in the ground and 1,000 barrels of cider was supposed to be made” (Lewis, West to far Michigan).

“In 1783, Governor Haldimand was to investigate the land granting system at Detroit. It was suspected that regulations forbidding individual purchases of land were being ignored.

After 1783, settlement in Canada was encouraged, land, religion and education were expected to benefit from land sales. Grants were offered to the Loyalists and disbanded troops as rewards for faithful service. Fees were dropped and provisions made for immigrants.

Along the Detroit frontier, the rules were bent to fit the existing or desired conditions. One of the most flagrant violations concerned individual purchases. One estimate claims that from 1763 to 1796, over four hundred families settled on land granted from the Indians.

The lack of knowledge concerning the region is afforded in the address of Mr. Lymbruner, agent of the Province of Canada, read in 1793 before the House of Commons. It contained this passage:

Although there is a small settlement at Detroit, which is, and must be considered, of great importance as a post to trade with the Indians, yet it must appear to this honorable house that from its situation, it can never become of any great importance as a settlement. The Falls of Niagara are an insurmountable obstacle to the transportation of such rude materials as the produce of the land. As the farmers about Detroit, therefore, will have only their own settlement for consumption of their produce, such a confined market must greatly impede the progress of settlement and cultivation for ages to come.

During the war, a stronger fort had been built on a hill behind the town, Fort Lernoult. A palisade fence ten to fifteen feet high, ran from the fort, and entirely, surrounded the town largely as protection from Indians. No Indians, were allowed, to bring weapons, into town or permitted to stay after dark.

The danger of fire was real. The town of 109 buildings. The only stone structure the commandants house. Most buildings were used as both shop and home by English merchants. Within the stockade were two wharves at the river.

Several creeks running through the settlement were used as open sewers. The area was so filthy, Colonel Depuyster offered the land to any who would clean it up. The Detroit River ran at two miles an hour; the river carried pure water and wells were not needed until 1800.

The British encouraged immigration to Detroit, hoping to retain the area by right of possession. The loyalists could raise crops along with the Indian allies and guard the community. The king’s ships offered free transportation to disbanded troops and loyalists.

Detroit and across the river were one settlement before 1796 when British Canada relinquished Michigan to the United States. Malden – Amherstburg was the British headquarters for the wars against the American United States. It was christened Molden or Smugglesburg in 1796. It lay directly across from Detroit.


Even though the Americans had won the war of Independence in 1783, they did not occupy the land until 1796, when the British evacuated Detroit.

“In 1802, Detroit was incorporated and had its first post office. In 1815, a report from Edward Tiffin, Surveyor General, said there is not one acre in a hundred, if there would be in a thousand for cultivation. It is all swampy and sandy. The region as a whole was said to be extremely sterile and barren. Such representations must have been founded on unpardonable ignorance or knavery. No state in the Union has a larger proportion of excellent farming lands. The wheat crop in 1886 amounted to 26 million bushels and the productions of our garden fields and orchards are unexcelled. Beets weighing 18 pounds and watermelon weighing 40 pounds were common. In 1828, one hundred hogshead of Michigan tobacco was shipped to Baltimore. A pear weighing 38 ounces was grown by Judge Sibley; it was seven and a half inches long and fourteen and a half inches in circumference.

Large numbers of fish were taken from the waters, the whitefish the most numerous and highly prized. In 1822 at Hog Island – Belle Island, there were taken 1,200 barrels, worth four to five dollars a barrel. Thousands of barrels were sent to Ohio and New York. In 1836 to 1840, the catch in the Detroit River averaged about 3,500 barrels per year, worth eight dollars a barrel. ”(Farmer).

“Detroit was the real Capital of the Northwest” (C. Moore).

Father Gabriel Richard, General of the Catholic Church, arrived in 1796. He did much to help the fledgling town, helping to establish a road between Detroit and Chicago, brought the first printing press, and became a territorial representative in the U.S. Congress. In many other ways, he helped establish the new American Country. During the 1832 cholera epidemic, he worked untiringly, ministering to the sick at Springwells. He also died after two months of the same disease. He was a good, devoted, self-sacrificing man.There was another cholera epidemic in 1834.

By Act in 1802, it was designated the ‘Town of Detroit’. By Act in 1815, it was called the ‘City of Detroit’. In 1827, it was enacted that the name should be ‘The Mayor, Recorder, and Alderman of the City of Detroit’. In 1857, it was enacted that the name should be ‘City of Detroit’” (Farmer 1884).

The Great Fire of 1805 in Detroit leveled the village. The fire department was a Bucket Brigade. No one died.


“The city is located near the head of the river on its northerly and westerly banks. The Eastern boundary is about four miles from Lake Ste. Claire.

The river is usually tranquil and never dangerously rough. The water is of a bluish tinge, and in transparency and purity is unrivaled.

The breadth, general safety, and smoothness of the river make it especially inviting for boating and yachting; and in later years, many persons have availed themselves of the facilities afforded. Several noteworthy regattas have been held here, and boatman all concede that no finer location can be found for a trial of skill. During the summer season, excursions up and down the river and to different islands are of almost hourly occurrence. The islands vary in size from one to several thousand acres.

Within the city limits of Detroit, three streams of water once flowed. The Savoyard Creek branch of the Huron became practically an open sewer. Then it was converted to a deep and covered sewer, a Grand Sewer it became.

Mays Creek was also Campaus River, and Cabaciers Creek. It is claimed that Jacques Peltier erected the first grist mill on this stream just north of what is now Fort Street.

Parent’s Creek, or Bloody Run, is the real historic stream. It was first named after Joseph Parent, a gunsmith whose name appears in St. Ann’s records in 1707. It is now filled in. The name was changed to Bloody Run after the defeat of Captain Dalyell and slaughter of a large part of his company by the Indians in 1763.

Knagg’s Creek was just outside the western limits of the city; it flowed into the Detroit River in Springwells on the Bela Hubbard Farm. Knagg’s built a windmill in 1810, and it was used until 1840” (Farmer 1884).

In 1805, there were very few people in the Northwest Territory, and there were 180 White people in South Michigan.

Scores of canoes were hauled up on the riverside, while others flashed along the current or plied to either shore. Later on windmills stretched their broad arms to the breeze and, with fish nets hung on reels, formed the hallmarks of their day.

In the 1800s, the winter season furnished many a scene of gay festivity. The little French or Canadian ponies were so plentiful as to be had for almost nothing, and box runners, then much in vogue, were so easily constructed that everyone could procure a ‘turn out’, and not only the river, but the grand marsh on the east and the River Rouge on the west became the race courses for the whole community. This last locality, the Red River as the English always called it, was the favorite place for this sport, and fast pacers were in special demand on these occasions.

The men who began the American regime in Detroit and Michigan were Governor Hull, Augustus Woodward, Fred Bates, James Witherell, John Griffin, Solomon Sibley, and Elijah Brush, confidant, attorney, and mayor.

In 1810, under Governor Cass the Michigan legislature passed a law repealing all laws pertaining to Michigan that had been passed by the legislature of the Northwest Territory.

Windmills were used to grind grain along the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair. People would travel long journeys to grind the grain to flour, some carrying the sack on their back up to 20 miles away. Skins were scraped as thin as possible and were used for windows on the log homes.

Women made coarse cotton and woolen clothes for the Indian Trade. Flax was grown for weaving linen cloth.

It was a luxury to have a look at things. Calico was used for wedding dresses. The people asked not for great things; they were inured of want. To have enough to eat and to be warmly clad and

housed from winters cold was their longing and hopes of plenty for the little ones in the future.

The first stage line in the territory was established in 1822; it ran from the county seat of Macomb County to Detroit.

Books and papers were practically unknown for very many years. News came from the outside world in the form of letters few and far between. Personal and family plans and adventures were the usual subjects of conversation and these with numerous Indian alarms and changes made by succeeding commandments filled up the measure of the passing years.

The tables were well-supplied, beaver tails, wild ducks, turkeys, partridges, quails, bear steaks, venison, whitefish, hulled corn, succotash, and baked French pears were common articles of diet. Later on many of the best families cured their own pork and beef and hams and shoulders were smoked at the smoke house of some enterprising grocer. A family of bovines (cattle) and eight chickens were sent from Montreal in 1701; they soon multiplied and the lowing of cows and the cackling of hens helped to make the wilderness seem a home. There was never more crops raised than was needed for home consumption, and after the War of 1812, a large share of the provisions was brought from Ohio and New York for nearly twenty years.

In July of 1817, more than 1,700 head of cattle were brought from Ohio. Prior to 1830, maple sugar was the only sugar in common use; it was finely grained by stirring. The Indians cooked their fish in the boiling sap.

Governor Cass in 1816 wrote a graphic picture of Detroit to the Secretary of War:

The Indian Trade originally furnished the only employment of the people of this country and their only resource against want. As traders, engagees, and voyageurs, they spent one half of the year in labor, want, and exposure, and the other in indolence and amusements.

Associated with the Indians, they contracted their manners and gained their confidence. As a necessary consequence, their farms were neglected, and the agricultural products of the country formed a small portion of the subsistence of the inhabitants. When the failure of game reduced the profits of this trade, the people were driven to other pursuits and the fatal mistake of educating a whole community for a single and temporary business is now deeply felt and acknowledged. Driven to toil the soil, the state of the farms shows the extreme defect of agricultural knowledge.

The spinning wheel and loom are unknown in the country. The farmers are in the practice of drawing their manure upon the ice of the river during the winter, that it might be carried into the lake in the spring. The wool of the sheep was thrown away, and a pound of wool is not manufactured in the territory by any person of Canadian descent; and four-fifths of its inhabitants are of this class of population.

There can be no question that it is a remarkably desirable place for those who wish while making money to enjoy life as well. The population of the entire state, both Detroit and Michigan, stand for the New England of the West. (Farmer)

In 1827, only 39 un-naturalized foreigners lived in Detroit”.

An 1831 report of Detroit:

The Society of Detroit is kind, hospitable, and excellent. A strong sense of equality and independence prevails in it. A citizen whose conduct is respectable and decorous is respected by all and associates with all. Very little etiquette is practiced here; genuine friendliness and cordiality are the agreeable substitutes. A frank, cordial, and general civility, at once peculiarly gratifying and indicative of the character of the Michiganians, has been extended to us.

“The Detroit River is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable in the world. It was declared a public highway in 1819. Its average width one mile, it offers one of the largest and safest harbors in the world. It is the natural drain or channel for the passage of waters from 82,000 square miles of lake surface, 125,000 square miles of land. The velocity is around 2 miles an hour. The water was pure in 1884.

“The price of food stuffs was high in Detroit before it was a settled country. As long as the influx of settlers continued the seller’s market was good and prices high. In Detroit, consistent scarcity kept demand and prices high. “Nothing surprises a stranger in Detroit as the high price of everything that is brought to its market by the farmer” (Detroit Gazette, 1829). The provisions market was making great profit. The intensity of immigration caused great demand of the farmers, who found it difficult to reserve sufficient produce for their own families” (Democratic Free Press/Lewis, West to Far Michigan).

“Water was drawn from the river in pails and barrels. The water was not defiled by sewers and refuse from shops and factories at first; it was as clear as a diamond. The supply was as free as the air, and whosoever would might draw a drink. Buckets were carried on a wooden yoke borne upon the shoulders. Barrels were hauled in the old two-wheeled French carts and sold at sixpence per barrel. Two barrels was considered a load” (Farmer).

“It is truly discouraging to the emigrant, after having transported his goods safely for three or 400 miles, to have them dashed to pieces on our broken causeways within 10 miles of this place” (1825 Detroit Gazette/Lewis).

“Difficulty of access remained the greatest obstacle in the territory. In 1828, the 30, mile trip from Detroit to Ypsilanti took 3 days. In 1830, a trip from Detroit to Ann Arbor via Plymouth involved a week’s travel. Mills attracted people from up to 40 miles away, and the trip was long and arduous.

In 1831, Chicago had a population of 200 people. The early settlers and pioneers found their way to Michigan’s interior by following Indian trails. There was, no more awful and horrid roads to be found than all those leading out from Detroit in 1833 to 1837. Enoch Chase likened the poorly-drained roads of the eastern shore as almost a continuous mud hole” (Lewis, West to Far Michigan).

In 1832, Detroit was the Western limit of the established lines of Western transportation. Only a mail coach went to Niles once a week, then on horseback by Indians to Chicago

Detroit was devastated by cholera in 1832 and 1834. The people were panic-stricken. The city was quarantined and business suspended. Many fled to the country to escape the scourge. The death rate was 700 in a population of 3,500” (Hotchkiss).

“In 1833, there were 5,000 temperance societies in the U.S. with 1.25 million members. Liquor was a great problem.

Before 1835, not a street in Detroit was paved. The first streets were cobblestones, then the wood block roads in sand (corduroy roads). Then brick and stones. In 1849, Detroit was little more than a village; Woodward Avenue was surrounded by primeval forests.

Detroit was a place of fancy balls and proper luxury. It was a gay place of great parties. Music, liquor, and dance were all important. All the fancy of Europe was transplanted here. Intemperance was prevalent. Schools were scarce, the youth too fond of foolish amusements.

In 1853, prohibition was voted in for Michigan. To most people, this was a big joke and created the illicit trade of rum running. Bootleggers and kitchen operators were too numerous to mention. The waterways between Canada and the United States were heavily used to traffic Canadian whiskey to the United States, Michigan being the main source of the trade. Many people brewed their own beer and wine. Speakeasies were set up with special codes and rooms, and the people carried on as they had before. There were many arrests and confiscated bottles taken and dumped. There were secret hiding places, even in church basements, crawl spaces, haystacks, barns, holes in the ground, and in the river in crates. The government. gave up and changed the law.

Farmer in 1884 wrote of the Detroit River:

A lighthouse on what is known as Windmill Point marks the entrance of the river into the Lake St. Clair and is the chief landmark of the vicinity. The township of Greenfield adjoins the city on the north. Here is the immense seed farm of D. M. Ferry & Co. embracing 300 acres.

Then as now islands like emeralds were strung along its way, and myriads of wild fowl then fed upon its shores; the waters were so calm and clear that the smoke of wigwams nestled on their banks was mirrored on their smooth surface.


Previous to 1853, persons and teams crossed over on the ice; since then the daily trips of the railroad ferry boats have broke it up.

A considerable amount of Irish came in 1833. The Germans began coming in the spring of 1832 and the Poles in 1870.

In 1870, the various nationalities in the city were as follows: France 760; Germany 12,647; England 3,282; Ireland 6,970; Scotland 1,637; Holland 310; Hungary 310; Norway 523; and Poland 325. Out of a total of 79,577 people, 44,196 were born in America.

Every State and Territory in the Union, except Montana, has contributed to our population. New York heads the list with 7,722. In 1880, there were 116,340 of which 70,695 were born in America and of these 2,300 were colored.

In 1860, copper smelting was the leading industry.

“Detroit was the first major city to use rock salt for snow and ice control” (Salt Mining, MSU).

“In 1917, hundreds of small craft of every description hastened hither and yon on business and pleasure. The great passenger ferries carrying tens of thousands to and from Windsor the Sister City across the stream; the towering, many-decked excursion steamers filled with pleasure seekers, bands playing and pennants streaming in the wind; noisy tugs towing great scows up and down and across the stream; car ferries cooperating with the tunnel in transporting freight to and from the foreign shore. In the 1917 season, a total of 24,673 vessels carrying 88,885,520 tons of freight, more than the combined freight tonnage in and out of all the principal maritime cities of the United States, Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf for that year. Detroit has since become the industrial center of the richest country on the globe” (Fowle).

The Ku Klux Klan, a violent racist group, was a hotbed in Southern Lower Michigan in the 1920s. A very large number of the population were members. The headquarters were near Howell, Michigan, where rallies gathered. The KKK was anti-Catholic, anti-Black, anti-immigrant, and for Prohibition, wearing white hooded gowns to cover their identity. Scandal and illegal activity caused the decline of the KKK. It is still recruiting members to self-preservation and the advancement of White Christian America, a new law-abiding group with a nonviolent way. The National Office North is in Chicago, Illinois and in Fraser, Michigan.




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This book came about after a visit to the library where I could not find local Indian History. I grew up in the St. Clair and Black River area of Michigan, fishing on all the area waters with my father and brothers. I loved books, libraries, horses and puzzles; I was not a tech person. I love to cook, garden, travel, and camp. I was determined to find and share the truth. This has been a difficult journey in every way. I give you, the reader, the truth and blessings I also reaped. Cheryl Morgan

Cheryl Morgan lives near Port Huron, Michigan with her husband Tom and dog Fred.

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