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NARRATIVE JOUHWVL GJ?
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determine their area with certainty, but judged
one of the best harbours
in the lake,
and have acquired some celebrity from the circumstance of Com. Perry's having been at anchor there
on the morning previous
the three main islands to average about one and a half miles long,
and half a mile wide, and may cover from 2,500 to 3000 acres tacollectively, resting upon a solid mass of schistose rock in great
part limestone. lime,
here limestone, for the purpose of making soil is
and would admit a settlement of thirty or forty fami-
But every object of
carried as far as Detroit and Cleaveland.
which the Bass islands could be This fine haven
applied, yields to the importance of Put-in bay.
admits entrance and anchorage for vessels of any supposable draught, safe from
must become, from
and depth of water- an object of great national value.
Lake Erie, or in its connecting waters, except in Erie strait, can any respect compare with it ; its occupation as a naval and com-
mercial station must one day take troit, p.
In one of the smallest of these Islands, called
a large quantity of crystalized sulphatof Strontian, has recently been discovered.
Having received several specimens of this mineral, from Mr. A Bird, of Troy, one of which is the fragment of a crystal
weighing two pounds, ity
and gf ognostic
wrote to him for some account of its local-
ing solicited his permission,
although without hav-
extract from the reply,
which he favoured me
calmed near the Islands nied by
the lake last
where Mr. De Russy
After an unsuccessful search
when immediately on
took a boat and accompa-
and Mr. De Russy (who
main summer of of an hour, we gave it up and on our way we stopped at
search of the Strontian to the
determined to return to our vessel
Delafield, Mr. A. Stebenson,
to be our guide)
found the mineral
wandered a little from the others, and found the large bed of which I spoke tu you. We there procured large in
and some large
of the tenth of
this cluster, and another, called the Three which lie in the Steam-Boat track between Put-in-Bay and the mouth of Detroit river, and en-
had Fort and town of Maiden or Amherst-
tered the latter at twilight on the eighth.
a view of the bur«\ which
a few miles above the entrance into
the river, and immediately opposite the fertile islands of Bois Blanc and Grosse
These were the
objects that could be distinguished
and we reached Detroit
" This Strontian was found on the south
was hour, and
a late side of
a horizontal vein of three feet in tlickness, and from 40 to 50 feet
had no means »f judging its depth into the rock. The bane of the Inland is wholly compact limestone in which shells The commissioner (Gen. P. B. Porter, scarcely, if ever appear. in length.
acting under the treaty of Ghent, H. R. S.) has given his permission, and 1 shall name this Island on tie maps, " Strontian Island,"
by which name I presume it will hereafter be known." The same substance had been found upon an ther part of this island (as appears from Eaton's Geology, p. 234.) by the gentlemen attached to the boundary commission, during the preceding year,
the surprising quantity above stated.
of West Point, and myself, have also noticed
Detroit river, in the month of May,l820, but lound no crys-
of more than a few ounces in weight.
cavities in a horizontal stratum of
compact limestone destitute of astonn quarry, which has been
This locality is opened on the lands of Miss A. M'Comb of organic remains.
a great proportion of the
Luilding stone of that city
appears, that this mineral, hitherto so very
sparingly found cither
Europe or America, exists abundantly in Lake Erie, and should the progress
the region around the head of
of the arts require
probable that the compact
the Erie and Detroit Islands, ficient
and lasting supply.
hereafter be found to yield a suf-
01 without an opportunity of then witnessing the pictur-
esque view, which the approach
the country adjacent, presents.
Detroit occupies an eligible situation on the west
banks of the
connects Lake Erie with Lake
St. Clair, at the distance
of six miles below the latter,
in north latitude 42° 30' according to the receiv-
ed observation. The town consists of about two hundred and fifty houses, including public buildings,* and has a population of fourteen hundred and fifteen inhabitants, exclusive of the garrison. f * 1.
fret in length,
high with two steeples, has a chapel under ground 65
by 60, originally designed
of (he public buildings of Detroit
A Roman Catholic
— of stone
Protestant Church, built of wood, painted and furnished
dome supported by wooden pillars An Academy of brick is 50 feet long, by 24
of stone, two stories high, and 88 feet
by 44 on the ground.
house occupied by the Indian department, is 27 feet by 50. The banking house of the bank of Michigan, 36 feet square,
built of stone 6.
stories high, built of brick.
market house, 60 by 30.
Government store-house of brick, 100 feet by 40. 9. Military Arsenal— is 50 by 38, two stories high, built of stone. 10. The Oidnance store-house, a spacious stone building. 11. To these may be added Fort Shelby, which stands in the 8.
town, and the adjoining barracks, capable of quartering several
giments. t This tion
the result of the census of 1820, for the
respecting modern Detroit, I have to ar knowledge to
James D. Doty, Esq. attorney
of which, together with thp greater part of the details
members of the
at law, of that place,
late expedition lo the sources
and one of
of the Mississippi.
52 advantages of a regular plan, spacious streets, and a
handsome elevation of about forty feet above the river, of which it commands the finest views. Very few of the French antiquated buildings remain. There are several buildings of brick and stone, but the greatest number are painted wooden dwellings, in the style of architecture, which is prevalent in the wesAn air of ta^te tern parts of the state of New-York. and neatness is thus thrown over the town, which superadded to its elevated situation, the appearances of an active and growing commerce, the bustle of mechanical business,
moral institutions,* and the
local beauty of the site, strikes us with a feeling of
of Detroit was occupied by an Indian
lage, called Teuchsagrondicrfxvhen
French; and among the singularities of its history, we find that it is one of the most ancient European settlements in the interior of the
been a stopping place
for the Couriers du Bois
* Societies at Detroit. 1.
of the city of Detroit.
tion of general science ?..
3. 4. 5.
meetings are popular.
Society for the Promotion of Agriculture.
Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Masters' Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons.
A Moral and Humane Society. A Sunday School Association.
There are two catholic, a nrotestant and a methodist clergyman. 12 altornies, and 8 physicians. t Coldcn'a History
of the Five Nations.
as early as 1620.
Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, in 1620.
made commencement of the seventeenth Charlevoix, who landed here in June, 721,
tlements do not appear, however, to have been at Detroit until the
French Fort called Ponchartrain, under the command of La Salle's Lieutenant, M. Tonti. He speaks of the beauty and fertility of the it
the site of a
" It is country, in terms of the highest admiration. w pretended," he says, that this is the finest portion of all
Canada, and really, if we may judge by appearanseems to have refused it nothing that can
a country delightful
meaand rivers, and all of them so excellent in their kind, and so happily blended, as to equal the most romantic wishes. The lands, however, are not all equally dows,
fi^Jds, lofty forests, rivulets, fountains,
proper for every sort of grain, but
general are of
a wonderful fertility, and I have known some produce good wheat for eighteen years in succession,
without any manure.
the river on purpose to enhance the beauty of the
the river and lake
in fish, the air
pure, and the climate temperate
and extremely wholesome."* There were then three bands of Indians located upon the west banks of the strait, between lakes Erie and St. Clair. The first on ascendis
ing, consisted of the
Dionondadies,f a band of
* Charlevoix's Journal of a
t Called Tiotiontatez
French generally, but
vol. II, p. 6.
by Charlevoix, and Amibouis by the
I follow the
5J andots,* having high pretensions to ancestry, and who were considered the radical stock of the Wyan-
Between these and Fort Ponchartrain, there was a settlement of Pottawattomies, and beyond the fort along the banks of Lake St. Clair, the dot tribe.t
Ottaways held possession.
Charlevoix alludes to
the labours of former missionaries
among them, who
have been most successful with the Hurons, French settlement which is stated to be of fifteen years standing, he adds, that " it has been reduced almost to nothing;," and points out to the Dutchess de Lesdiguieres, to whom his letters are addressed; the advantages that New France wtnild
but of the
derive from a permanent settlement at that place.
history of Detroit, during thi^ early.period
that of the territory of
ft was noted throughout the earliest settlements of the colonies, as the rendezvous of the Couriers du
and the mart where the remote tribes of the North and West, called collectively the Far Indians^ by early writers, exchanged their peltries for European manufactures and when the fall of Quebec and Montreal in 1759, added the Canadas to the British crown, Detroit was a considerable French village, defended by a stockaded fort, and surrounded
Hurons by the French.
are called by the
Qualoghies, by the Iroquois
one of the few Indian tribes
the U^ S.
have bestowed upon them-
selves as a nation. f
The council fire of this among our savages,
always the rallying
understood to be
fixed at the
place indicated by Charlevoix,as the residence of the Dionondadies, viz. at
L'rowntown, at the mouth of Detroit
i Colden's Five Nations.
55 In the year 1763,*(con-
with a farming population.
hundred men, was besieged by a confedunder Pontiac, an Ottawayf
taining then a British garrison of three
under Major Gladwyn)
eracyf of Indian tribes who displayed such a boldness
in his designs,
negociation, and such personal courage
in war, as to justify us in considering him one of the
men which have ever appeared among
He was the decided and constant enemy of the British government and excelled all his cotemporaries in both mental and bodily vigour. His conspiracy for making himself master of the town of Detroit, and destroying the Indian tribes of
garrison, although frustrated,
a masterpiece among
* Carver places the date of Pontiac's
who was an
to the relief
of the army of Gen.
of the Fort
the siege had then been continued nearly twelve months and must
consequently have began in 1763.
Henry's Travels and Adventures'in Canada, and the Indian Territories
between the years 1760 and 1776.
this confederacy were the Miamis, CuWyandots, Pottawatames, Mississagas, Shawnese, Ottagamies and Winnebagoes.
considered by Carver as a Miami
sons best acquainted with the subject at Detroit,
but those per-
the present chief magistrate of the Michigan Territory, consider
have been an Ottaway.
§ There chiefs
but a single individual in the history of aboriginal
bear a comparison with Pontiac.
his extraordinary powers, both of
eration of the
every body's recollection,)
Pontiac had formerly led against
mind and body, formed a confedunder the British standard,whom it..
and bis victory over the British the battle of Bloody Bridge, stands unpar-
Indian stratagems troops, at
alleled in the history of Indian wars, for the decision
and steady courage by which
was, in an open
of giving in this place, an which Carver has given of the
resist the inclination I feel
extract from the interesting account
and war oflhis extraordinary
risoned by about three
win, a gallant
when Pontiac formed his plan, was garhundred men, commanded by Major GladAs at that time every appearance of war
an end. and the Indians stemed
on a friendly footing,
without exciting any susp
Pontiac approached the Fort,
the breast of the governor or the inhabitants. distance from
he was come
and sent to
os in at
and being desirous of brightening the
chain of peace between the English and his nation, desired that he
might be admitted to hold council with him.
unsuspicious, ar.d not in the least doubting ihe since-
of the Indians, granted their general's request, and fixed on
the next morning for their reception.
" The evening of that day, an Indian
woman who had
ployed by Major Gladwyu, to make him a pair of Indian shoes, out
of curious elk-skin, brought them home.
ed with them, that, intending these as a present for a friend, he ordered her to take the remainder back, and himself.
done, and dismissed her.
The woman went
to the street, but no further; she
observed her, and asked her
quired of his servant
what occasioned her
to get a satisfactory
answer, he ordered
door that led as if she
servant at length
she staid there; she gave him,
however, no answer. " Some short time
iido others for
then loitered about
not finished the business on which she came.
then directed his servant to pay her lor those she had
governor himself saw her; and en-
Mot being ahle
to be cal_
presence he desired to
u.is the reason of her loitering about,
and not hastening home
before the gates were shut, that she might complete in due time the
was continued by Pontiac, months together, during which time rithe garrison, although gallantly defended by the tish commandant, had suffered severely, and the confederate Indians had been frequently on the point o£ siege of Detroit
for nearly twelve
i fiven her to do.
that as he had always behaved
she was unwilling to take
he put so great a value upon vail
told him, after
with great goodness towards her, the ;
ainder of the skin
and yet had not been able
why she was had been when she made
on receiving a promise that the intelligence she
upon herself to
then asked her,
do so now, than she With increased reluctance she answered, that she never should be able to bring them bark. '• Elis curiosity being now excited, he insisted on herdisclosing to him the sei ret that seemed to be struggling in her bosom for ut-
the former pair.
was about if
him should not turn
to her prejudice,
appeared to be beneficial she should be rewarded
informed him, that at the council following day, Pontiac