Oh, what the settlers would have given for 4-wheel drive! How amazing to look around at your current surroundings and read of the historical accounts of what it used to look like.
Early settlers were attracted to Michigan for its untapped resources. Lakes full of fish, woods as far as the eye can see full of wild animals for hunt and room to harvest crops. However, with the untapped resources came hardship at times, like the roads or lack thereof. In our text we find Asa S. Whitehead in the Reminiscence of Travel to West Bloomfield speaking of the corduroy roads and lack of. In the wet seasons the lack of roads made travel almost impossible due to the mud, requiring ambition and determination.
The settlers were driven by the dream of setting the stage and leaving their mark for the family unit. Weather by treacherous travel by water or half-built roads, nothing was going to keep them away!
Co-habituating with the Indian’s seems to be viewed differently by each group. In the reading “The Indians Visit Us” by William Nowlin we find that the presence of the Indian, even though harmless, struck fear into the children. No reason other than story or lack of understanding that would have led to this fear. However, we find other settlors giving to the Indian’s the “presents” or payment for the land that was taken from them. Finally, we see the prejudice in “The Burning of an Indian Village” where we see the misuse of power to take what is not rightfully theirs. Oh, when will we learn, this sounds like the age-old issue that we still have, and is it because it was what shaped us?
So, was it the early settlors that set the stage for division of the land. Did we take what was not so rightfully ours and try to essentially payoff the Indian’s? Did we try to make them conform to our ways or be cast out? We do see a division or highly dense population of early settlors that still exists today, such as Frankenmuth (German), the UP (Scandinavian) and also the Dearborn area (Arab Americans). Do you think that we came and took what was not ours to take?
Works Cited: The Great Water, A Documentary History of Michigan. Editaed by Matthew R. Thick.