Page images

had to be done. Secondary materials, and not of the best kind, have been in some cases the only possible recourse; but where used these have been carefully pointed out. It should be said of the county histories that despite their frankly commercial nature a few of them show real insight into local problems and deal with them intelligently, while others deserve special praise for fullness of detail obviously gathered painstakingly.

In another class are the pioneer reminiscences, many of which are trustworthy and useful. The habit of keeping a diary, or journal of events, common in the early days made it possible for a pioneer to refresh the memory later; many printed reminiscences profess to be an embodiment of facts set down in this manner years before. For some phases of the subject-as the nativity of settlers, the conditions of early travel and transportation, the founding of settlements, and contemporary local opinion-this material furnishes often about all the information that is obtainable. The volumes of the Michigan Historical Collections are a mine of this material and have been heavily drawn upon.

The early newspapers have also been used extensively. They contain much unconscious testimony of early conditions, especially in the advertisements, and in some aspects of the subject they are quite as valuable for what they led immigrants to believe about Michigan or about certain localities as for the truth of their statements. Many of them were started as advertising mediums to "boom" their localities and were widely circulated in the East by speculators.

So far as possible the author has checked these materials from the more reliable classes of data, as the laws, legislative journals, executive documents, court reports, censuses and accredited monographs. References are given for all statements taken from them. The vast amount of detail from various sources which the author has examined on every point should of itself afford sufficient check to prevent serious errors.

In this pioneer attempt the aim has been to be logical, accurate and clear, rather than literary; the author will gladly welcome criticism and correction.



1. Latitude

2. Lake Michigan

3. Westerly winds

4. Topography

5. Rainfall

6. Forests

II. Characteristics

1. Equable temperature

2. Absence of extremes of temperature and rain-


3. Growing period prolonged

III. Health

1. Diseases not favored

2. Influences correlative with climate

3. Compared with other states

4. Early unfavorable reports

5. Prevalence of "fever and ague"

6. Imprudences of settlers

« PreviousContinue »