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The thirty-eighth volume of the Collections consists of miscellaneous papers read at the meetings during the publishing of volumes thirty-six and thirty-seven, composed almost entirely of documentary articles. Thirteen biographies are given into which are woven many historical incidents and items. Besides these are the memoirs of members whose deaths have been recorded since our last volume. The obituaries of three of these writers occupy space in the same book with their contributions, bringing home to us the great importance of securing information at first hand before it is too late.
Prehistoric forts in Macomb county connect us with primitive life in Michigan. The romance of Old Baldoon reads like old stories of Kings, Castles and Knights. The old forts, not only old in Michigan but ranking as such in the United States, are depicted. We see early Grand Rapids and are invited to a Railroad Ball. We visit Cadillac's home. We honor the inventor of the Solar Compass and developer of our wonderful Upper Peninsula. We point to history and romance in dry statistical legal decisions. New light is thrown on the boundaries of our country. We are led through the Gateways of the Northwest to Unexplored Historical Fields. The perils of pioneer days are given in the Lost Finch Boy, Early Allegan, Early Howell, Grand Traverse Region, Indian and Pioneer Life, St. Joseph, Lena wee, Van Buren, Cass, Barry and Eaton Counties, each contributing its share. Almost a photograph of a true historian is displayed in the genuine history told in Colonial Amusements of Detroit. You can read the Samplers exhibited. The settlement and characteristics of Michigan are depicted in articles on the French of St. Joseph County, the Dutch of Holland and Southern Michigan settlement. More strictly historical are the History and Meaning of Names of the Counties, and Maps. We follow the track of the underground railway. We see practical work in the accounts of historical sites marked and pictures preserved. Schools are not ignored in the paper on those of Kalamazoo and connection of history and citizenship with them. Michigan's part in National life is greatly enhanced by the exhaustive but clear work of Marshall's Men and Measures in its pioneering the public school system, protection of homesteads and the enfranchisement of slaves. One of the strongest and most helpful lives in Michigan was that of Aunt Emily Ward who started twenty-nine young people in educational and industrial paths leading them to high state and national honors. The reader must bear in mind that this Society does not attempt a connected history of Michigan but fragmentary sketches that, like moving pictures, show bits of domestic life and habits and customs of its citizens.
The Historians invite the organization of County Societies and their co-operation in gathering and preserving local records. History while dealing with past events must receive the attention of the present time and thus teach the coming generations.
Committee of Historians,
CLARENCE E. BEMENT, Lansing
MICHIGAN Pioneer and Historical Society
ANNUAL MEETING, JUNE 2 AND 3, 1909
The thirty-fifth annual meeting of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society was called to order by the President, C. M. Burton, Wednesday, June 2, 1909, at 2 o'clock p. m. Rev. William Putnam of Lansing offered prayer. Music by the choir of the Industrial School for Boys.
The president made a short address, comparing the work with other societies and with former years, commending the progress made. He expressed the appreciation of the Society for the help rendered by appropriations from the legislature, regretting circumstances made it necessary to curtail the amount asked for. He emphasized the needs for better accommodations and more means to adequately carry on the work. The reports of the secretary and treasurer will be found following this.
The president, in answer to a request from the clerk, Mrs. Ferrey, appointed a committee to audit the accounts, consisting of Messrs. George Howe, Port Huron, George Thayer, Grand Rapids, and Henry J. Martin of Vermontville. The Industrial School Boys sang, “Tenting Tonight.”
By request, Mr. H. M. Utley courteously exchanged places on the program with Father O'Brien of Kalamazoo, who read a scholarly paper on the Life of Richard R. Elliott, the predecessor of C. M. Burton, historiographer of Detroit. Hon. Levi Barbour prefaced a fine memorial of Peter White by the presentation of a nicely framed portrait which was unveiled by the president. This picture was donated by M. W. Jopling, a son-in-law of Peter White, through the solicitation of Hon. Charles R. McCabe of Marquette. Mr. E. J. Wright of Lansing gave an account of the manner in which the Society became the possessor of
four chairs originally occupied by Michigan territorial governors and sold by the State to persons who gave them to the Masonic Lodge, and by resolution of that body they were returned to the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society. The chairs were displayed, bearing the additional silver plates recently bought and placed on them by the lodge.
Judge Cahill offered the following resolution: Resolved, That the thanks of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society be extended to Lansing Lodge No. 33, F. & A. M., for the presentation of four chairs, viz.: one large solid mahogany chair, beautifully carved and upholstered in hair cloth, used by the Territorial Governors and Judges; one large, plain mahogany chair in same covering, very heavy and massive; two office chairs, hand carved, with hair-cloth covers and rope-legs.
Resolved, That a copy of this resolution be sent to the Master of the Lodge.
This resolution was unanimously adopted. Miss Othie Smith of Sault Ste. Marie sang a solo, entitled "Rock Me To Sleep.” Mrs. Martha Gray of Traverse City read an interesting paper on the "Forerunners of The Grand Traverse Region.” Hon. Huntley Russell closed the afternoon session with a solo, Kipling's "Recessional,” Miss Block, accompanist.
Wednesday evening's session was opened by music from the Baracca Club, Lansing, entitled “The Winter Song," and for an encore they rendered, “March of the Gods.” Henry M. Utley, City Librarian of Detroit, read a biography of Gen. Byron M. Cutcheon (or McCutcheon). Mrs. Jane M. Kenney of Port Huron said Gen. Cutcheon told her that he changed his name on account of his brother who established himself first in Michigan and was known as Cutcheon, so when he joined him, he also dropped the "Mc,” as he considered two own brothers should have the same name, although he had always regretted his action. The Baracca Club then sang, “Old Black Joe," and responded to an encore with “April and November."
Judge Montgomery gave a fine memorial of Daniel McCoy, prefacing his paper by calling attention to the coincidence that both Gen. Cutcheon and Mr. McCoy were of Scotch extraction, and both names had been corrupted, McCoy originally being McKay Miss Glenna Bishop of Eaton Rapids, sang “Praying For You.”
William Foster of Delta presented the Society with a flail and shake made by himself, an Indian relic, and some corn like that grown in Alaska, which had been brought by the birds to his farm, each kernel being enclosed in several husks. Mr. Foster planted some of the seed, and now has specimens of a number of ears. He said he did not have an education, and the great men of the State, whose biographies they bad listened to, had some one to tell their history, but that he would have to tell his own. He took up some land near Delta when the sections we now know were all a wilderness; he built himself a shanty, of course of green lumber, which shrunk so it was almost impossible to detect any difference between the atmosphere outside and inside of the house. It served as a shelter from storms and a protection from the animals, then plentiful, but in cold weather there was no danger of perspiring in his house. He thought he must fix it up a bit, as the winter was upon them, and the thermometer near zero. He secured the help of five men, and in four days they had a log house, but as there was no chance for the usual mud-chinking, frequently snow drifted into his cabin to the depth of several inches. This was in December and it proved a hard winter. The first of April, 1855, there came a storm, leaving the snow fifteen inches deep on the level, but it lasted only eleven days.
He worked a few days for a man who had no money with which to pay him and he took a log chain for recompense. He cut down and "branded" five acres of ground covered with beautiful timber. He walked from Delta to the site of the present Michigan Agricultural College, and from a man named Burton, who occupied the farm now owned by the State, he bought five bushels of wheat at $1.50 per bushel, and carried it home in bags on his back. The flail he presented he made to thrash out the grain grown from the seed. He was born in 1831, and now owed no man a dollar, and could live comfortably the remainder of his days. He said his wife deserved as much credit for his success as himself, for the privations borne by her were as great, if not greater, than those endured by himself. He thought the present generation would be benefited by the experience of some of these hardships. They would grow to know each other better, and appreciate each other more, and it would result in fewer divorces.
Samuel F. Cook gave a paper on "The Man Who Sold Mackinac Island to the British in 1812, His Purchaser and His Reward.” Miss Bishop favored the audience with a solo entitled, “Fishing."
Thursday morning a committee meeting was held in Committee Room · A, Senate Chamber.
Thursday afternoon the president desired to know the pleasure of the society in the matter of the nomination of officers. There being no objections to precedents established he appointed as nominating committee, Judge Cahill, Messrs. Greusel, Howe, Martin, and Jewell. The auditing committee's report was adopted.
John I. Knapp of Adrian gave an informal and general invitation to the audience to be present at the dedication of a monument to Aunt Laura Haviland in Adrian, contributed by the citizens, and unveiled