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that, they were employed by Burnett in the trade of the region. William Burnett married a sister of Topinbee, a chief of the Potawatamies, and Joseph Bertrand married Topinbee's daughter, which doubtless had something to do with their relations. Burnett was, also, associated in a business way with such men as John Kinzie, James May and Jean Baptiste Point Au Sable. With his son and successor Isaac Burnett, the names of Jean Baptiste Chardront and B. Ducharme are associated.
It is impossible to say at this time, whether the trinkets, found on the Indian dead at Three Rivers, came to us through the agents of Louis Chevalier of old Post St. Joseph, or through the agents of William Burnett or Joseph Bertrand or possibly through the post at Detroit which our St. Joseph Indians were wont to visit. Probably many posts furnished treasures to deck those roving braves in all their splendor.
Among the Bouquet papers, 36 is an order from Pierre François Vaudreuil, Montreal, under date of Feb. 9, 1760, saying: “You will send copies of all my letters to St. Joseph and the posts near, supposing that there remain some soldiers there in order that the inhabitants may conform to it.” That Three Rivers was one of the “post near" is very probable. It is also probable that the wide knowledge of Louis Chevalier of the Indian character and movements was not gained without the medium of sub-agents and sub-trading posts and that, in his time, an active trade was carried on at Three Rivers with the Potawatamies.
Chevalier in 1779,37 says “The Potawatamies are divided into six villages, fifteen to twenty miles apart, each village having its own chief.” Three Rivers no doubt was one of these villages.
The old Indian burying ground in Three Rivers is not the only evidence of the aboriginal population. Several farms, along the St. Joseph and Rocky rivers, in the vicinity are rich in Indian treasures, flints, battle-axes of stone and other Indian objects. A branch of the Rocky River the outlet of Pleasant Lake which is one of a chain of lakes some seventy feet above the St. Joseph River, flows rapidly down to join the Rocky River near the city limits. This stream is not more than three or four miles long and it takes its descent quickly. Not far from this little stream is an old sand-pit, rich in arrowheads. Near its confluence with the Rocky is another field which has yielded many flints, battle-axes and pipes. South of Three Rivers on the St. Joe are two such fields. This series of Indian haunts, shown by localities where flints abound attests the popularity of these streams with the Indians, and suggests that more than one village of Indians was located in this vicinity.
38 Mich. Pion, and Hist. Colls., Vol. XIX, p. 29. 37 Mich Pion, and Hist. Colls., Vol. XIX, p. 375.
In conclusion: The story of Three Rivers on the St. Joseph, in the time when Michigan was a province, first of France and then of England, is best told in the few traces of the French trader and his Indian customer. Mere footprints of a vanished people, nearly obliterated in the flight of time. The written history, of the period and region concerns the military operations and occupations of the forts, through which the government was administered. The traders left no written memorials of the place or people. Three Rivers' provincial history is interwoven with that of the forts at Detroit and St. Joseph; That Three Rivers, with its natural advantages, was an early point of attention and occupation by both traders’s and priests39 is certain. Both came soon, certainly not later than the return of the Potawatamies from Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1708 to 1711, "to this river where the hunting was good.”
The word “Montreal” on the trinkets from the Indian burying ground signifies that the objects of trade still came from Montreal. We know that William Burnett did not pay license nor do business under Michillimackinac, later than 1782. Naturally, we return to the period of Louis Chevalier. The thirty-five years between 1745 and 1780 when he traded with the Potawatamies on the St. Joseph, influenced them, and kept them in friendly relations with himself and his superiors.
Dead men tell no tales ! But they have told to us a story of Three Rivers on the St. Joseph in the eighteenth century. The only story of it that we can find of that time. A tale of the noiseless pad of mocassined feet, now dust for more than a century. We trust the interpreter has made no mistakes in the translation.
88Jesuit Relations, edited by Reuben Gold Thwaites. Vol. 66, page 279. Letter of Father Gabriel Marest, dated November 9, 1712. “Therefore, I resolved to go by the river St. Joseph to the mission of the Pouteautamis, which is under the direction of Father Chardon."
sMich. Pion. and Hist. Colls., Vol. XXXIII. Letter from Father Marest to the Marquis Vaudreuil, under date of Aug. 14, 1706. “I had spoken to some Frenchmen about taking news to the St. Joseph river and helping our priest, and getting them out of their difficulties if they are there and enabling them to leave."
D. A. R. UNVEILED MONUMENT MARKING SITE OF FRENCH
(From the Three Rivers Commercial, Sept. 30, 1911.)
INSCRIPTION ON BOULDER MARKING SITE OF FRENCH TRADING POST Hereabouts stood the old French trading post, kept by Cassoway and Gibson, when the first white settlers came to Three Rivers in 1829.
This post was probably established before the revolutionary war. The French traded with the Indians of the St. Joseph river as early as 1680.
This tablet was erected by the Abiel Fellows Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution September 30, 1911.
The ceremony of the unveiling of the boulder that marks the site of the old French trading post which stood near the site of the park on Constantine street in the Third ward, occurred this afternoon at 2:30, in the presence of Abiel Fellows Chapter Daughters of the Revolution, who are the donors and a large gathering of citizens, who had assembled at the spot to witness the ceremonies. The ceremonies were opened by the singing of the Star Spangled Banner by the entire assemblage, which was followed by the invocation by the Rev. Thomas H. M. Coghlan, of the Methodist church. Mrs. L. B. Perrin, the regent of the chapter, gave an address on the work and aims of the order.
In part she said:
“While we seek to perpetuate the memory of our revolutionary fathers our eyes are turned toward the future and it is our special work not only to mark historic places but to instill and foster a fine and high spirit of patriotism in the minds of our boys and girls who hold the future destinies of this country in their hands, and to aid those who are debarred educational privileges.
"It is in the interest of our boys and girls we mark historic places, suitably inscribed and mark revolutionary battlefields and revolutionary soldier's graves and mark portages and trails of the early traders and Indians and place monuments along the road our pioneers followed to the far Pacific coast.
"One of the works which most strongly appeals to us is teaching patriotism to our boys and girls, teaching them love and loyalty for the flag and we have strong committees in this line whose especial work it is to see that no desecration is offered our dearly loved and blood bought banner.”