xt737p8tb588 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt737p8tb588/data/mets.xml Drake, Samuel Adams, 1833-1905. 1894  books b92977d7892009 English Scribner s sons : New York Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Ohio River Valley. The making of the Ohio Valley states, 1660-1837. text The making of the Ohio Valley states, 1660-1837. 1894 2009 true xt737p8tb588 section xt737p8tb588 


The Making of New England, 1580-1643. Illustrated.  12mo. $1.50.

The Making ok TnE Great West, 1512-1S53. Illustrated.  12mo. $1.50.

The Making of Vikginia and the Middle Colonies, 1578-1701. Illustrated. 12mo. $1.50.

The Making of the Ohio Valley States, 1660-1837.  Illustrated.   12mo. $1.50. 





"Histories make men wise."   Bacon


cm a i; i, i-;s


   Copyright, 1894, by CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS

   stone arrow-heads.


First Epoch   The Conquest of the West.


The Entering Wedge..... 3

The Iroquois Blockade .... l(i

The Gates of the West  .... 11)

Inteh-Ocean Routes..... 23

A Visit to the Miami and Pottawatomie Villages..... 27

A Prairie Portage...... 29

The Fbench on the Mississippi

and Wabash........ 31

Virginia Moves to the Ohio, 1749 39

The Building of Fort Duquesne 48

" Join or Die"........ 54

The Tragedy of Fort Duquesne . 58

The Highlander's Story . ... 72 The End of French Dominions

175U........... 74

Pontiac's War, 1763...... 8u

Second Epoch   The Advance into the West.

The Hunters of Kentucky .   .  . 93

Wheeling, 1770 ....... 105

The Battle of Point Pleasant  . 100

Logan's Speech....... 109

A Kentucky Station..... 110

The Rescue of the Children ,   . 112

Three Great Land Schemes   .   . 113

A Brave Deed of Arms   .... lid

Boone's Capture and Escape .   . 122

IOlizabf.th Zane's Heroism .   .   . 125


To the Peace of 17S3..... 126

The Commonwealth..... 131

An Old Kentucky Home .... 133

Interlude......... 139

The Pilgrims of Ohio ..... 112

The Northwest Territory .  .  . 145

Marietta, the Corner-stone .   . 153

Cincinnati Founded, 1788  ... 161

A Combat on the Ohio .... 16N The Struggle  fob Possession,

1790-1791 ......... 172

Wayne's Campaign, 1794 .... ISO

The Treaty of Greenville, 1795 . 188

Third Epoch   Progress.

Fall of the Iroquois, 1779 ... 193

The Western Reserve, 1795  .   . 196

Ohio Becomes a State, 1803 .  .   . 200

Indiana Territory, 1S00-1812 .   . 205

A Stampede of Horses   .... 214

Michigan and the War of 1812   . 215

Tecumseh......... 227

Johnson's Kextuckians .... 22S

The National Road..... 229

The First Steamboat..... 233

The Erie Qanal, 1825 ..... 236

Indiana a State. 1810 .   .   .      . 239

Emigrants on the Prairies .   .   . 245

Illinois and Michigan, 1S10, 1837 216

Alsatian Emigrants to Ohio   .   . 254

Appendix.......... 355 


Mounds near Marietta, O. Frontispiece Pottery from Ancient Mounds . 8 Quebec from an Old Print ... 5

Halberdier. 1650....... 6

Wisconsin   Indians Gathering

Wild Rice........10

Explorers1 Routes to the Mis-

sissdppi, Map........12

An Indian Council, from La Hon-

tan.......... 16

Ancient Stone and Copper Relics ...........17

mlchilimackinac in 1688, from

La Hontan........21

The Site of Chicago.....24

Earthen Mounds, in Outline . . 2S French Settlements of Illinois,

Map........... 3-3

John Law......... 35

French Military Line, Lake Erie

to the Ohio, 1765, Map .   ... 45 Washington  in  the Wilds of

Pennsylvania....... 49

Plan of Fort Duquesne .... 51

M Join or Die"....... 54

Braddock's Route...... 50

General Daniel Morgan  ... 6]

Plan of Braddock's Field .   .   . 04

Braddock's Field...... 65

Beaujeu Leads the Enemy on .  . 67

Braddock Down....... 70

General, the Marquis i>e Montcalm .......... 75

Bouquet's Redoubt, Pittsburg 77

General James Wolfe .   .... 7S

Scalp Dance (after Catltn)  .   . SI

Pontiac's Fire-canoes..... 84

Old Barracks, Frederick. Mn,   . 87

Cumberland Gap....... 96 !


Daniel Boone........97

Pictured Rock.......loo

An Ohio River Flat-boat ... 107 Positions of Kentucky Stations,


Positions of French and English

Forts, 1775, Map......115

The Garrison Marching Out . . 120 The Count de Veegennes ... 128 What France would have Given

us, 1782, Map.......129

Indian Pipe-bowls......141

Wa fh ington's Headquarters,

Newburg, N. Y.......146

Rufus Putnam.......147

Sign of the Bunch of Grapes .   . 150

Elephant Mound.......155

Ancient Earthworks in Ohio .   . 156

Mining Tools.......'  . 158

Gen. Arthur St. Clair .... 159 Fort Washington, Cincinnati . . 164 The Indians' Rock, Portsmouth,


Harmar's Defeat, Vicinity of

Fort Wayne, Map.....173

Pittsburg in 1790, Military Depot for the Ohio......174

United States Feace Commissioners, 1793 ......... 180

British Officers and Indian Orator, 1793.........181

General Anthony Wayne  .  .   . 1S3 Map of Wayne's Campaign, and

Early Ohio Settlements . . . 186 A Mohawk Village in New York 194 Burning of Iroquois Villages . 195 Old Court-house, Chillicothe.


William Henry Harrison      .   . 207 



Map Showing Treaty Bounda-

ries ........... 208

Tecumseh......... 20!)

Battle-field of Tippecanoe  .   . 212

Detroit in 1815....... 216 i


Battle of Chicago...... 220

Defence of Fort Stf.fhen60N

(Fremont, O.)....... 223

Commodore O. H. Ferry..... 22i I


Old Stage-wagon...... 229

Aaron Burr........ 230

Braddock's Grave, National

Road.......... 232

Fulton's Steamboat..... 233

The Walk-in the-water .... 235

Erie Canal, Lockport. N. Y. . . 238 American Bottom, Vicinity of St.

Louis.......... 247

The Mouth of tuk Ohio .... 2-19 

"America has left behind it the cerements of the feudal system." 
   pottery from ancient mounds.


Traders and Missionaries

UR present theme deals with the great central region

" comprised between the Ohio, the Mississippi, and the Great Lakes. It may aptly be called the heart of the republic, because in these great waters lie the life-springs of three-fourths of our country's whole area. Nowhere, in the United States, is there a basiu of such vast extent, capable of feeding so vast a population. Hence its destiny is to hold the balance of power between East and West; hence its situation is truly regal.

As Canada was the parent stock, upon Avhich this greater domain was early grafted, we must first trace its growth under French rule, though very briefly.1

France hold possession of all this immense tract, and much more besides, for a hundred years. History de-mauds to know what she did with it in all that time. Did she hold it, as a great trust, for the benefit of mankind ? Or was it merely treated as a great, rojral preserve, in which the increase of the beaver, the marten, and the otter was more looked to than the increase of the



human species? We shall presently see whether mankind was any better off from her hoarding it, as the miser hoards his gold ; perhaps learn, too, just how much sentiment has been wasted upon a class of adventurers, with high-sounding names, who kept the country little better than the splendid desert they found it.

His majesty, Louis XIV., talks to his supple governor in this wise about that wonderful man, La Salle, whose discoveries were to add so much glory to this reign : " Like you," he curtly says, " I am persuaded that the discovery of the Sieur de La Salle is very useless ; and it is necessary, hereafter, to prevent similar enterprises, which can have no other result than to debauch the people by the hope of gain, and to diminish the revenue from the beaver."

In these few tell-tale words we have the king's whole philosophy of government. "I am the state," he had said. He would not lift up the common people; he would much rather see the beaver increasing than the population; hence all other discoveries were to him very useless things indeed.

The colony, as that part of Canada lying on the St. Lawrence was called, was of no very great extent. It mainly clustered around the island of Montreal, and the crag of Quebec   Montreal the storehouse, Quebec the fortress.

At once fortress, capital, and port of commerce, Quebec held to Canada the same vital relation as Boston to New England. It was the cradle, the heart, the shield of Canada. Endowed by nature with a position almost impregnable, it attracted the sure and experienced eye of Champlain, its founder, as in the previous century it had that of the intrepid Jacques Cartier, its discoverer. 


Montreal was more of a trading-post, a good deal of a convent, and less of a stronghold. It was but weakly fortified against Indian attacks from above, as Quebec was expected to defend the colony against all others from below.

Seated at the foot of the great Lachine rapids, all the Indian trade of the Far West was naturally poured into its lap.   Between these two chief cities, a few strag-

quebec, from an old print.

gling, ill-favored villages served as so many connecting links, rather than as feeders of either.

Fears of their inveterate enemies, the Iroquois,2 made the French long keep close to these places ; indeed Montreal had sometimes been in a state of siege ; nor did the slow growth in population, the causes for which we have just pointed out, admit of much expansion. In short, Canada was a typical royal colony, in which the king held both sword and purse. Emigration, as we of the nineteenth century understand the word, was not 


encouraged. There was a small class of employers, fur-traders mostly, and there was a larger class of employed, chiefly boatmen, bush-rangers, or handlers of other men's goods.   There were a few farmers, living near the chief

towns or river villages, and there were a few fishermen on the coasts.

The people, however, were of the most robust kind. Inured to out-door  life, their native gayety disposed them to I      be   sociable toward the Indians, which the English, with colder temperament, K    could never be. fee    When among Indians, the Cana-.       dian hunter easily put himself on their level.

a halberdier, 1G50.

When  going to

war he lived and fought like the Indians themselves. Like them, he learned to despise cold, hunger, hardship ; to scrape away the snow for his bed ; to fast or feast, as game was scarce or plenty ; to bind up his own wounds with a few simples, or meet death without a whimper. This bred up a class of rude and lawless, but able-bodied, fighting



men, used to the woods, skilful with their weapons, and hardly less ferocious in combat than the red men themselves. In time of war they could be turned out to a man, because they had no choice but to obey the call or be shot, whereas, in the English colonies, the people could not be forced into the ranks, against their own laws. Hence the whole fighting population could be mustered, at very short notice, by a simple proclamation ; and woe to him who failed to be at the place appointed!

Under Louis XIV. Canada could not well be anything but a military despotism, not greatly softened by an ecclesiastical despotism. Old France had been governed by priests; the same thing was attempted here. This the king's officers warmly resented. So there was constant wrangling between them.

Men would hardly risk crossing the ocean, knowing that they would be no better off by doing so   that the same stern despotism followed them everywhere. And even if they had come out to Canada, removals into the remote parts of it, to make new settlements, would have been strictly forbidden. This kept the colony small, if not select. In France Canada was valued first of all for its fur-trade, and afterward as an outlet for French goods; so that in one way or another nearly everybody there lived by the fur-trade; and the beaver-skin was the currency of Canada, just as tobacco was that of Virginia.

This fur-trade being wholly in the king's hands was, at best, nothing but a gigantic monopoly. Those wishing to engage in it had to pay roundly for the privilege, to say nothing of the gratuities demanded by those who had the granting of these permits. Traders bought the right to take so many boats, with so many men, to such or such a nation.   Half the j^ear the bone and sinew of 


tlie colony were roaming the distant prairies in quest of furs. True, it encouraged a life of adventure, but not a domestic life. It opened paths, but built no cities. It enriched the few at the expense of the many. It gave men a splendid physical training, but kept them ignorant dependants.

What does the king himself say on this head ? " Up to this time," he says again, " I have seen little success in the enterprises of the Sieur de La Salle for the discovery of the western parts of Canada; and as it is alleged that he has given permits to several individuals to trade with the Indians, under pretext of this discover you should clearly explain to him my intention that he should grant no such permits."

In this curt style did this king   and he was every inch a king   remind his subjects that he alone was master. Though gilded, the rod he held over them was still a rod of iron.

Canada, then, was a royal colony carried on for revenue only, with the head at Versailles and the hands at Quebec. Its rise or fall depended to a very great extent upon the yield of beaver. Of progress, in any enlightened sense, we discover very few traces indeed.

Here, too, we have the native genius of two great peoples sharply defined. The Latin race conquered, but did not colonize. The Anglo-Saxon race conquered to colonize. In Canada the first object of men and rulers was the beaver-skin. Quarrels with the English, quarrels with the Iroquois, quarrels with each other, all hiuge upon that one article of trade; as, conversely, alliances, truces, or treaties all look to the same end.

To push this trade into new channels was, therefore, a prime object with every ambitious adventurer ; for in 


every old corner some existing monopoly was already securely intrenched. These "runners after profitable adventures " were the explorers   good, bad, or indifferent.

Of these there were two classes, who to-day share the honor of having first opened the way into the Far West. There were the men like La Salle, who were looking for gain, and there were the men like Marquette, who were looking for souls to be saved. Both worked with patient heroism and unflagging zeal, both endured equal hardships; and both have left imperishable records to posterity.3 These two were the types of many. One wrought for glory in this life, the other for that of the life to come.

The explorer for trade carefully looked over the face of the country for the best routes ; saw the people ; got the best idea he could of their numbers, power, and resources ; picked out sites for his trading-posts, as he went along; and roughly calculated, in his mind, from what he saw and heard, how many skins each tribe could probably be made to furnish in return for brandy, powder, lead, and a few cheap goods. The larger the tribe, the greater the profits.

The missionary either was sent out among the savages by his superior, or went voluntarily, at the call of conscience. Never, since the days of the Apostles, were such tasks assumed by mortal men. Unwelcome intruders in the squalid wigwams of these fierce pagans, they were in turn starved, spit upon, and tortured, not only in the spirit, but the flesh also. Joyful, indeed, was that day on which the missionary could claim even one convert. All had gone forth to a voluntary exile ; some to martyrdom itself.

The missionary became an explorer, too, though he 

studied the country with a far different object from the trader. Each, however, diligently worked to extend geographical knowledge. The trader gave his employers an account from his stand-point; and the missionary wrote his relation, with sometimes a rude pen-sketch or two added, to his superior.   It is to him we owe by far the

best and fullest accounts of the infancy of the Great West, because, if not always the best observer, he was by far the better educated man of the two.

The trader carried in his haversack some cheap trinkets, a roll of tobacco, and a bottle of brandy. The missionary carried his breviary. It is a sobering thought that the trader's brandy probably did more harm than 

1 1

the missionary's holy teachings did good. It is a humiliating one that a savage should ever say to the white man, as these poor creatures did to their destroyers: " You made us drunkards; you gave us brandy, and now we cannot live without it; we must have it."

Hence traders and missionaries were never on the best of terms. With good reason the traders feared the influence of the missionaries, who wanted to make a man of the savage, while the traders would make him a sot.

It is true that a few venturesome traders had gone into this far-off region before the Jesuit fathers did, for as one of them says, "Where there is lucre, there is people enough to be had." But the missionary was early in the field, ready to lay down his life in the battle with paganism. So died Marquette, greatest, perhaps, of missionaries, while La Salle, greatest of explorers, died by the bullet of an assassin.

Through such untiring efforts, ranging between 1660 and 1670, two missions had been started on Lake Superior, one in the southwest corner, called St. Esprit, one at the Sault Ste. Marie ; a third at the Straits of Michil-imackinac; and a fourth at the Green BayJ of Lake Michigan   all places of great resort on account of their fisheries, and therefore most proper for missionary stations.

Near the close of this period, or between the years 1668 and 1670, it is claimed that La Salle discovered the Ohio, and though perhaps not clearly proved, his claim was allowed in his own time, and is generally accepted in ours.3 We know, at any rate, that the French saw this river first. We know, furthermore, that in all their subsequent quarrels over it with the English, they based their title upon this discovery of La Salle's. 


In the spring of 1671 the French took formal possession of Sault Ste. Marie, the Lakes Huron and Superior, with all the country to the western sea ;6 so making this

first act of sovereignty begin at the extreme northern limit of the United States.

In June, 1673, Joli-et and Marquette, explorer and missionary, performed their famous exploit of reaching the Mississippi by way of Green Bay, Fox River, and the Wisconsin, seeing the Illinois, the Missouri, the Ohio, and the Arkansas, as they paddled down the majestic Father of Waters. At the returning, they reached Lake Michigan by way of the Illinois and Chicago rivers. In 1679 La Salle penetrated into the interior of Illinois, by wa}' of the St. Joseph and Kan-

ex110reks' boutes to the mississippi. 


kakee rivers, then and there striking the first blow to hold the country, by building a fort near the site of Peoria. His men soon deserted it, however. The next year he himself reached the Mississippi, and two years later its mouth ; there taking formal possession of all the vast countries it watered under the name of Louisiana.7

When La Salle came back from this expedition, which gained him so much honor, he chose another, and much stronger position on the Illinois, in room of that abandoned. This was at a place called The Hock, or later, Starved Rock, a castellated crag, rising steeply up from the riverside opposite to the village of Utica.8 Here La Salle designed planting a colony among the numerous and friendly Illinois, not only to draw in the trade of all the region round about, aud protect the Illinois from Iroquois raids, but to be a kind of half-way house between the St. Lawrence and the Gulf. With his forts on Lake Michigan, and at Niagara, La Salle thought this long route might be kept open, though he must have idealized that it could never be safely travelled except by strongly armed bodies of men. La Salle did, however, lay out the road for other men to travel in.

Thus, even at so early a period, no less than three practicable routes had been found between the lakes and the Mississippi. All, of course, were previously known to the Indians, whose highways they had been, no one can say how long, and who now guided the newcomers over them as to old and long-travelled roads. What had been traversed hy millions of men, from an immemorial time, as the wonderful earthen mounds of this region show to this day, it would be absurd to call a trackless wilderness, especially when it was everywhere threaded by the well-worn trails of so many passing 


generations. All the Frenchmen could with truth say was that they were the first white men to travel those paths, since grown to great highways of commerce.9

If, now, we look at the map, we are surprised to find how remarkably travel between the lakes and the Mississippi is facilitated by the trend of the rivers themselves. It really seems like part of a great plan, as they uniformly take their rise near the lakes, and thence flow off southwesterly toward the great river. The water-shed, too, is but little raised above the general level of the country, so that if tedious, the portages were not difficult, like those of a mountainous region.

So many journeys, in so many directions, had resulted in locating the great water-courses more or less correctly, in locating the various local tribes, and in acquiring some little knowledge of their strength, their enmities, or their friendships. As they threaded the broad prairies on foot, or floated on the still waters that wind through them in silvery folds, the Frenchmen saw with admiration great herds of shaggy bison, quietly grazing on all sides of them. They saw with rapture the sun sink down below a horizon seemingly as far off as if they had been on the great ocean itself. Yet all their thoughts were how to keep this boundless domain a solitude. With a few posts well placed, and a few gifts judiciously bestowed, they might control the fur-trade, and hold the Indians in fast friendship. This was the whole philosophy of frontier life, as long ago as when the first camp-fire was lighted on the prairies of the west. This was the colonial system of Louis XIV.

As the pioneers of this region were Frenchmen, the presence of so many French names on the map is readily accounted for.   In a certain way, they preserve its his- 


tory. In like manner, another group of names stands for the red men, who once called all this broad land theirs. We Avould not see one of them changed, strange as they sound to the present generation; stranger still as they must grow, as the years roll on.

By reason of their discoveries the French claimed everything west of the Alleghanies, and for many years it was not Englishmen who disputed its possession with them, but a power they themselves had first heedlessly provoked on the shores of Lake Champlain, and often trembled at in the years to come   in a word, the redoubtable Iroquois. Wherever the French went, they heard this people spoken of with fear and trembling.

1 This is more fully treated of in the Making oj the Great West, of this series.

3 For fear of the IroquoiB the French traders sometimes embarked at Montreal by night, so as not to be seen by their scouts.

   La Salle and Marquette have counties, towns, or cities named for them, the first in Illinois, on the scene of his exploits, the last in Michigan.

4 Green Bay was better known to the French as the Baie des Puants, or Stinking Bay. The Winnebagoes, who lived near it, were called Les Puans, both names originating in an alleged disagreeable odor to the waters of the bay. The mission of St. Francis Xavier was at the head of the bay, at the outlet of Fox River. A pivotal point in the history of Wisconsin, considered by good scholars as its first bona fide settlement, the mission of St. Esprit being the first mission. The English name, Green Bay, according to Carver (1'ravels, p. 15), comes from the earlier appearance of

verdure here, in the spring, than at Mi-chilimackinac. The French post here was called Fort La Baie, corrupted into Le Bay by the English. It stood on the west bank of Fox River.

6 Discovert of the Ohio, by La Salle, rests chiefly on the authority of Joliet, who has it so on his map, 1674. The matter is discussed in Wisconsin Hist. Coll., ix.. 10S, Parkman's La Salle, etc.

    See Making of the Great West, p. 79.

7 Louisiana, the name given in honor of Louis XIV.

" TJtica is on the Rock Island Railroad, ten miles below Ottawa, and five above La Salle. Parkman considers it the site of the great Illinois town of La Salle's and Hennepin's accounts. The Rock is six miles below Ottawa. Fort St. Louis, La Salle's fort, was deserted before 1721.

8 Besides the great routes, there were cross-country paths connecting the principal villages. 

the iroquois blockade


Niagara the Key of the Lakes

While the French were so industriously spreading their net to catch the trade of the Northwest, a most formidable foe rose in their path. This was not the English, whose most western settlement was Schenectady, but the powerful Iroquois, who claimed most of the western country themselves, by right of conquest. Their claim ran as far down the Ohio Valley as the Tennessee,

To give an idea of the extent of their conquests, it will be enough to say that the Iroquois had driven the Ot-tawas out of their own country, to find a present refuge on the shores of Lake Superior, and that La Salle found the numerous and warlike Illinois as much afraid of the terrible Iroquois as if they had been so many hungry tigers. It was the same thing east or south. To see the French walk in, and coolly take possession of what had

an indian council (from la hontan).

or Cherokee Fiver, as it was first called, from taking its rise in the country of that nation, and covered everything as far north as the great lakes. In all that vast region there were none to dispute their title, for even the most warlike tribes had been driven to acknowledge the all - conquering Iroquois as their masters. 


been won with their own blood, and by their own bravery, incensed the Iroquois beyond measure against them.

Of course the French promised to protect the resident nations against the Iroquois, as if it was an easy thing for them to do, when the plain fact was that they could not protect themselves, or were kept in constant fear of their own lives.

It had been early found that the short way to the Mississippi lay around the stupendous cataract that guarded


the Iroquois country at the west. It was as good, or better, than a Chinese Wall, and probably helped on the idea we find so generally prevailing, that a people, whose gateway had been built by the Great Manitou himself, must be under his special protection. This was Niagara    Niagara, the key of the lakes.

La Salle, long-headed, astute, persuasive, had wheedled the Senecas into letting him build a sort of fort there, in the winter of 1678-79, to aid him in his explorations. This, however, was soon after burned, and it had not 2 


been rebuilt. At this point, which La Salle had foreseen could be made impregnable to an enemy, the Iroquois had as good as established a blockade, which shut out free communication through the lakes. It therefore became an object of the first importance to the French to raise this blockade.

The English took no active part in this rivalry, at first, except to protest that the Iroquois were the King of England's subjects, and therefore under his protection. But when the French attacked the Iroquois in their own country, the English did absolutely nothing to help them, except prate loudly about what they would do by and by. It was an unequal contest   a cruel contest   to which men of common judgment saw but one end. The French were playing their Northwestern allies against the Iroquois; and the English were playing the Iroquois against the French. Whoever won, it was not to be the Indian.

The importance to them of opening this route to the West led to an attack being made upon the Senecas, who held Niagara, by Governor Denonville, in the year 1687. Though making stout resistance, the Senecas were beaten from their villages, so leaving the French masters of this much-coveted corner of Lake Ontario.

After this victory Denonville began the building of another fort, at the same spot previously occupied by La Salle's, later so historic. This, too, was abandoned the next year, on account of the scurvy breaking out among the soldiers there, and on the demand of the English, was destroyed by its builders. Thus it returned to its legitimate owners until many years after.1 And thus, twice in ten years, had the French seen this important pass slip through their fingers, after having, as they thought, 


got firm hold of it. They were thus forced out of the channels nature had laid down, for many years to come.

' The French rebuilt Fort Niagara in 1720, in pretended retaliation for the seizure of Oswego, by the English, on

the same spot where Deuonville's and La Salle's forts had stood.   Doc. Hist. X. Y    i., 440.


Michilimackinac, Detroit, and Niagara

Of all the early missions in the Northwest, Michili-mackinac was doubtless the most important. Sainte Marie of the Sault, and La Pointe, were, indeed, earlier in point of time, and excellently placed, too, for reaching all the vast region tributary to Lake Superior; yet neither was so well situated for carrying on trade or exploration south of the lakes. Hence Michilimackinac always plays a leading part in the early history of the Northwest.

Marquette was in charge of the mission here (St. Ig-nace), when, with Joliet, he started ofi' to find the Mississippi. La Salle also made it his rendezvous, on his various trips to and from that river. Yet when we look at its place on the map, and glance over the frightful distances to be travelled, we cannot help asking ourselves, what manner of men were these, who thought no more of traversing the great lakes in a frail bark canoe than we do to-day in a luxurious palace steamer ?

Ever quick to detect a resemblance, the Indians seem to have been struck with that of this bold island to a swimming tortoise ; and that is just what the name means in their tongue. It soon came also to be applied to the adjacent shores, though belonging, first of all, to the island itself. 


Then again, Michiliniaekinac was the regular rendezvous for the multitudes who every year came there to spear the white fish, or to make their annual canoe voyages to Montreal with the winter's catch of peltries. In a little time it was the traders who came to the Indians to buy and sell, thus turning Michiliniaekinac into a trading-post.

This was neither more nor less than cutting off the Indian trade from the colony for the benefit of a few licensed traders, and it gave rise to endless bickerings.

When, however, these traders began coming up the lakes, the Indians still came here to exchange their peltries for goods. There were always two opinions in Canada as to which was for the best interests of the colony, one party being as strongly in favor of the old way as the other was of the new. And sometimes one, sometimes the other got the king's ear. So we see that all were not agreed upon the policy of extension by any manner of means.   Indeed the two parties were bitterly hostile.

Within a very few years, the importance of its trade caused the sending of soldiers there for its protection, and Michiliniaekinac then became a military trading-post, with a mission attached. Baron La Hontan says it was so chosen on account of its security from Iroquois raids, as even these tigers dared not venture across the rough waters of Lake Huro