Thursday, September 1, 2016

Michigan Territory

In 1805 Michigan Territory was incorporated. At this time the people were primarily involved with the fur trade. Until 1812 the Indians were a vital part of the economy after the war of 1812 and over the next 30 years the Federal government started to take over the Indian lands and remove them from the area.

It is also important to note in this area that French were the first majority of European settlers, then the English.

The war of 1812 also changed the economics of the region, fur was no longer as valuable, lands were being developed for farm.

Here's an excerpt from Memoirs of Lenawee County, Michigan from the point of view of a six year old in 1835 retold as a grown man...
"It was very interesting to hear him tell of his childhood, when the Indians visited his home (there having been a trading station on the farm before his father purchased it); how the children, being afraid, clung to their mother; of the graves of an Indian chief and a papoose; of hunting deer and wild turkey, and of being lost in the woods on the farm while going after the cows. These stories are very dear to the children and also the grandchildren, ..."

What I find interesting in these little tidbits as a writer is what kind of game they hunted. What stuck out as such a vivid memory to a child and the "woods" on the farm. I think today we mostly picture the wide open fields for farmland. I know, I sometimes forget there was more on the farm then simply acres of farmland, especially during the 19th century.

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