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Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1870, by

J. A. VAN FLEET, In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan.


In the preparation of this little volume, I have carefully examined the following works : Holmes' American Annals, two volumes; Robertson's History of America; Bancroft's United States; Bell's Canada, two volumes; Albach's Annals of the West ; Lahnman's Michigan; Sheldon's Early Michigan ; Historical and Scientific Sketches of Michigan; Neill's Minnesota; Smith's Wisconsin, three volumes; Wynne's General History of the British Empire; Rogers' Concise Account of North America; Dillon's Early Settlement of the North-Western Territory ; Heriot's Canada ;

Parkman's Pontiac; Parkman's Discovery of the Great West; Schoolcraft's Works, complete; Documentary History of New York, complete; Palmer's Historical Register, 1814; Shea's Discovery and Exploration of the Mississippi,-also, Catholic Missions; Hennepin; La Houtan, two volumes; Charlevoix, two volumes; Alexander Henry; Carver; Disturnell; Newcomb's Cyclopedia of Missions; American Missions to the Heathen; Geological Reports by Foster and Whitney, and by Professor Winchell ; Thatcher's Indian Biography, two volumes; Strickland's Old Mackinaw; Drake's Northern Lakes and Southern Invalids,-also, Diseases of the Mississippi Valley, by the same author.

I am also greatly indebted to Messrs. Ambrose and William Davenport for a detailed account of the War of 1812 in its connection with this Island. These gentlemen were boys of from twelve to fifteen years of age at the time, and were eye-witnesses of all that passed. Their account agrees, in every important particular, with the official returns of Commodore Sinclair and Colonel Croghan, but is, of course, much more minute.

Several other citizens of the place have likewise rendered valuable assistance in matters falling within the scope of their recollection. I also desire to acknowledge my obligation to Edgar Conkling, Esq., of Mackinaw City, for valuable notes and suggestions, and to H. R. Mills, M. D., of Fort Mackinac, and Rev. J. M. Arnold, of Detroit, for assistance in getting the work through the press.

This book has been prepared to meet a want long felt and often expressed by the many who throng this Island in quest of health or pleasure during the summer. That it may accomplish this end, is the earnest wish of the author,

J. A. V. MACKINAC, JULY 4, 1870

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The first pale-faces who ventured into the region stretching around the great lakes, were Jesuit missionaries. Of these, the first who claim a notice here are the Fathers Charles Raymbault and Isaac Jogues. In 1641, these two men visited the Chippewas at the Sault and established a mission among them, but Raymbault soon after fell a victim to consumption, and the enterprise was abandoned. Desperate Indian wars, which soon followed, prevented any further attempt to establişh missions among the Indians around the lakes for nearly thirty years.

In the spring of 1668, the illustrious Father, James Marquette, was ordered to repair to the Ottawa mission, as that around Lake Superior was then called. Arriving at the Sault, he planted his cabin at the foot of the rapids, on the American side, and began his work. In the following year he was joined by Father Dablon, Superior of the mission, and by their united exertions a church was soon built. This was the first permanent settlement made on the soil of Michigan.

During that same year, Marquette repaired to Lapointe, near the western extremity of Lake Superior, leaving Dablon to continue the mission at the Sault. When he arrived at his new field of labor, he found several Indian villages, one of which was composed of Hurons, who, several years before, had dwelt, for a short time, on Mackinac Island.

Previous to leaving the Sault, Marquette had heard vague reports of the “Great River,” and had formed the design of one day exploring it and preaching the gospel to those far-off nations who dwelt upon its banks. That he might carry out this design, he obtained, while at Lapointe, an Illinois captive, and diligently studied the language, hoping that he would be permitted to visit that people in the following Fall. But in this he was doomed to disappointment. A war which broke out between the Sioux, and the Hurons and Ottawas, compelled the two last mentioned tribes to leave Lapointe and seek a new home. Marquette's lot was cast with the Hurons, who embarked in their frail canoes, descended the rapids of St. Mary's, and, “remembering the rich fisheries of Mackinac, resolved to return to that pebbly strand.” Having fixed upon a place of abode, the missionary's first thought was the establishment of a mission for the spiritual good of his savage followers. While making the necessary preparations for the erection of a chapel and the permanent founding of his colony, he dwelt on this island.

The following extract is from a letter written by Marquette

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