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that he should have noticed the provision of the law before. The governor suggested that he indemnify himself by making some good purchases with what funds he had. These lands were first offered for sale in August, 1843, at the State Land office at Marshall. Mr. Ball was there and bought some lands for some of the settlers who had furnished the means. That was all the sales that took place at that time. No one offered to purchase them on speculation.
Up to this time all the emigration was going past Michigan to Illinois and Wisconsin, but, hearing that there were selected lands in Michigan to be had at' a reasonable rate the emigrants stopped and looked at them. Mr. Ball kept a run of all the sales in the land offices and had corrected plats. He was there to meet the emigrants and give them his knowledge in regard to the lands, so most of them, although they came just to look, remained and others followed them.
Mr. Ball was tired of living in the backwoods alone and threw his whole heart and soul into the work of detaining these emigrants. It is the saying among the old settlers that anything he undertook generally succeeded. Anyway the flood of emigrants began to come in. He aided them in every way possible, not only with advice but with money, for but few of these early farmers could boast of five hundred dollars, and many of them had not enough to buy their places. Many times he would make the payments for them and give them time on his fees.
How warmly and kindly he spoke of these first settlers who built their log cabins and cleared the forests, their wives, too, playing their parts as well as the men, and after a few years of privations and hardships they found themselves in possession of farms, houses, cattle and horses. This kindly feeling towards these farmers was fully returned by them. I think it was about this time that he gained the affectionate title, by which he was so well known in southwest Michigan of "Uncle John.” He took as much interest in their prosperity as if they were his own family and they all looked to him for advice and assistance. It was under these circumstances that he gained the reputation, and I think justly, of having done more than any other man of early times to promote the settlement of the Grand River Valley.
A VISIT TO THE HOME OF CADILLAC
BY C. M. BURTON
One of the objects I had in going to France in the winter of 1906-7 was to visit the birthplace of Cadillac and to personally inspect the home and surroundings of the man who is so prominently connected with the early history of America.
I was in Paris during parts of January and February, 1907, and in the manuscripts in the colonial department in the Louvre, I found several papers written either by Cadillac, or concerning him, that in some way, indicated the manner in which he obtained and retained the name of La Mothe. It is maintained that the family name of the founder of Detroit was Laumet. He came to the French possessions in America when a young man and soon became familiar with the entire Atlantic coast line and was called upon to give information to the officers in the navy regarding the English colonies. In several of the early official reports he is referred to as young Lamothe, possibly because he had relations by that name. It matters little how the first mistake was made, he very soon became known in the colonial department as LaMothe. After his name had once so appeared in the records it was easier to so continue it than to correct it, and thus, from the very beginning of his American life, he was known by that name. In the record of his marriage with Marie Therese Guyon in Quebec in 1687, he signs his name LaMothe Launay, and in the record he is termed Antoine de LaMothe, sieur de Cadillac, son of Jean de La Mothe and of Jeanne de Malenfant. There is something uncertain, and possibly undetermined, about the name and antecedents, but we will pass over that for the present, hoping that the story will be untangled in the future.
On the sixth of February, 1907, we (Mrs. Burton and I) started from Paris by an early train, and reached Montauban the same evening. This city is thirty-one miles from the city of Toulouse so often referred to in Cadillac's correspondence. Montauban is in the department of Tarnet-Garonne, on the River Tarn, and contains about 30,000 people. It is a very old city, founded in the twelfth century, and was one of the early strongholds of the Albigeneses, the French Protestants. Notwithstanding its subjugation to the powers of the Catholic Church, a few years before the birth of Cadillac, it retained a great following of religious reformers. These men submitted to the open observance of adherence to the church while they practiced, in private, a larger freedom
'Read at the annual meeting, June, 1907.
of religious thought. The entire country was imbued with the principle of religious freedom and the people so continued to think, even after the outward observance of Protestantism was denied them, and many of them now retain the religious opinions of their Albigensian ancestors.
No one can read the voluminous correspondence of Cadillac without observing that, although he was a good Catholic churchman, he was a Protestant against the impositions of the Jesuits and the tyranny of the Church as imposed by that order.
It was in the neighborhood of Montauban that Cadillac was born and passed his early youth and old age, and near here his remains were buried.
Our first visit was the home of the Chanoine Fernand Pottier, President of the Archeological Society. He was not at his home when we called, but the attendant asked us to step in and wait a few moments for him. I took advantage of the delay to inspect a part of his home. As president of the Archeological Society he appears to be the custodian of all its collections and the rooms and walls of his home are filled and covered with pictures, curiosities, relics and thousands of rare articles that belong, either to the Chanoine personally or to the Society. I was was quite prepared to meet a student and was not surprised, when a little while later, the Chanoine (or canon) of the Catholic Church came in and introduced himself to me. He is a very pleasant little old gentleman, probably seventy years of age, and as we discovered, the idol of the village, for everyone seemed to think very much of him and appeared to love him as if he was in reality, as he was spiritually, the father of the community. On learning our errand, he at once set about entertaining us. He first took us to the office of Mr. Edouard Forestie, printer and lithographer. Here I found some twelve or more volumes in manuscript, containing the records of the district of Tarn and Garonne from 1527 to 1620. These books were once in the custody of Jean Laumet, the father of Cadillac. He was the judge of the court of the district and it was his duty to examine these records and certify to the possession of them. His name is endorsed, officially, on each of the volumes. Mr. Forestie is carefully examining the books for the purpose of extracting new data relative to the Laumet family. He has prepared a book for his own use, in which he has devoted a page to each year of Cadillac's life and, as he has been working at it for several years, his book is filled with interesting material.
I spent a considerable part of the day with these old volumes and in conversation with several members of the Archeological Society who called at the office. According to a previous arrangement with the Chanoine we returned to his home in the afternoon, where we met another and younger priest, about thirty-eight years of age, professor of English,
in the seminary of Montauban. Although the general conversation was Cadillac and his family, the host took pains to entertain us with other matters connected with their village. From the windows of the house we were shown the Pyrenees in the distance, and within the dwelling many of the archeological specimens were explained to us. We were escorted to the museum of art, it was thrown open to us—though not usually opened on week days—and the entire collection was explained for our entertainment. We were invited to dinner in the evening, at the house of the Chanoine, and here we returned after a visit to our hotel. The two priests were again with us with a young lawyer of the village, who talked English a little. After dinner the members of the Archeological Society began to assemble until the house was comfortably filled with visitors—all intent on seeing the Americans who had come so far to find out something of their famous countryman-Cadillac. His name was familiar to them all and anything concerning him was of interest to them.
On the third floor of the priest's house was a large room used for the meetings of the Archeological Society. On one side of this room was a canvas on which were displayed many interesting pictures illustrating the trip of the members of this society to Moisac and Saint Nicolasde-la-Grave in 1904, to place a tablet at the birthplace of Cadillac. They had pictures of the home, the church, the chateau, and the street in the little village and several pictures of the society taken at the time of the celebration. There were also pictures of the journey to Castelsarrassin, where Cadillac spent the last years of his life. The evening was passed very pleasantly with a large company all intent on making our stay as interesting as possible, and when we parted, it was to make preparation for an early start for Moisac in the morning.
Moisac is a railroad station about seventeen miles from Montauban and we reached the place very early the next day, February 8. Here we took a carriage and rode six miles to Saint Nicolas de-la-Grave. The country through which we rode is very beautiful. The district of Tarnet-Garonne derives its name from the two rivers Tarn and Garonne that serve as feeders to the great canals Midi and Lateral that connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea. Montauban is situated on the Tarn, while Moisac, a city of about 90,000 inhabitants, is located on the Garonne. Our road to Saint Nicolas de-la-Grave for a distance ran parallel to the river and high above its banks. Below us on the left we could see the winding stream, and beyond the river the great stretch of fertile farm lands in the distance, while behind us rose the hills that shut out our view from the north. Crossing the stream on a high bridge, a ride of little more than an hour brought us to the village of Saint Nicolas de-la-Grave, the birthplace of Cadillac, before nine o'clock in the morning. Our first call was at the home of the village physician. This gentleman took the utmost interest in our visit. He devoted himself to us during the time spent in the village. We first visited the little house which was the birthplace of Cadillac. It is a one-story brick dwelling about five hundred years old, I was informed. In the front part of the building are two or three large living rooms. Behind these rooms is a small court and on one side of the court is a part of the building two stories in height, used now for sleeping apartments. The ceilings of the rooms are very high, and whatever heat is needed is derived from fireplaces in the living rooms. Although it was in the middle of the winter when we made our visit, and the weather was as cold as it is usually in that region, we found roses in bloom in the open air in the courtyard I have mentioned.
The street in front of the dwelling is about twenty-five feet in width, paved with cobble stones. In the neighborhood are many other dwellings of similar size and antiquity, while occasionally a newer and larger building has been erected. The Cadillac building now belongs to Louis Ayral, a lawyer in Paris, and is occupied by his mother who kindly led us through the various rooms and pointed out the portions of interest.
On the eighth day of November, 1904, the Archeological Society of Tarn and Garonne placed a tablet on this building in honor of the noted man whose birthplace it was. This tablet bears the following inscription:
A la memorie
Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac
Ne Dans Cette Maison Le 5 Mars 1658
Colonisateur Du Canada et De La Louisiane
Fondateur de Detroit,
Gouverneur De Castelsarrasin Ou Il Est Mort in 1730.
(To the memory of Antoine Laumet de La Mothe Cadillac, born in this house March 5, 1658, Colonizer of Canada and Louisiana, founder of Detroit, Governor of Castelsarrasin, where he died in 1730.)
St. Nicolas is a small village, containing two or three thousand people. It is as we reckon time, very old. The streets and houses have changed but little in the two hundred and fifty years since Cadillac's birth, and every street of the village has borne the impress of his childish feet. Here stands the little church where he was baptised, whose archives contain the record of his birth and that of his brothers and sisters. Here he attended church as a youth, and received his first communion and drank in such words of religious liberty as were current at that