Saginaw Strike of 1885

The 1885 Saginaw Valley Strike, “10 Hours or No Sawdust” became the largest strike in Michigan for lumber workers.  The Mills were the biggest industry in that area which proved hundreds of jobs from milling, cutting lumber and loading to many more jobs within the company. The Bay City and Saginaw Mills provided lumber to major cities in the country. (Bay-Journal) Over the years the … Continue reading Saginaw Strike of 1885

Lumber Strikes in the Bay Area

Back in the late 19th Century the lumber industry was the biggest industry in the area. Hundreds of men worked in the industry doing things from cooking, scouting, milling, and cutting lumber. Most men were ok with how their jobs were doing, but some realized that their working conditions were atrocious. These men realized that they were working for upwards of twelve hours a day … Continue reading Lumber Strikes in the Bay Area

Blog Topic #4 for HIS 237

Topic: Using my video, the annotated article (notice that I made some remarks where I disagree with the author), and the texts, discuss the 1885 Saginaw Valley Lumber Strike. The Ten Hour Law (1885), which working men (united under the Knights of Labor) fought for, was not effective enough to protect Michigan’s working men. Although a plethora of strikes were waged in numerous industries over long … Continue reading Blog Topic #4 for HIS 237

Pingree and his Reform

Having elected someone into office, whether it be the mayor, president, congress, etc. you would want the person to fight for the good of the people and serve them well right? Hazen S. Pingree was the man for that. Pingree was a wealthy businessman with no prior political experience before 1889, but in 1890 that changed for him. He was elected mayor of Detroit in … Continue reading Pingree and his Reform

Politician of the People

Pingree’s Potato Patches Hazen Pingree was first elected as Mayor of Detroit in 1890 and then served as Governor of Michigan from 1896 until 1901 (Rubenstein and Ziewacz, p. 126).  Pingree’s political legacy was that of social reform, and earned him the reputation as a politician of the people (French, Pingree video) .  As a young, wealthy and progressive Republican, Pingree brought about reform by … Continue reading Politician of the People

Blog Topic #3 for HIS 237

Topic: Thinking about Hazen Pingree during his time as mayor of Detroit and governor of Michigan, answer the following questions: What actions did Pingree take that made him a social reformer? You may want to think about how this compares or contrasts to current politicians. In a republic such as ours, whose job do you think it is to reform society when it is not running … Continue reading Blog Topic #3 for HIS 237

The Land! The Water!

Michigan had, and always will have a lot to offer in the sense of farming and fishing. The pioneers were smart to be drawn to Michigan as a means of growing a family and/or business. This was their motivation for moving from their current locations. Some pioneers were hesitant because they knew they would have to cohabitate with the native Americans. This reluctance really depended … Continue reading The Land! The Water!

The People of Michigan

Life in Michigan in early 19th century was difficult. There were great opportunities, so many thousands of people flocked to the state after they found that it was not swamp land. They opened the state through the use of water and train. The roads in the 19th century were nearly as bad as what we have today. All of the stories talked about how many … Continue reading The People of Michigan

Bumpy Road Ahead!

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. … Continue reading Bumpy Road Ahead!

Michigan’s First Settlers

American pioneers have always had a reputation of being industrious, hardy, and adventurous, but Michiganders took this to a new height. Beginning in 1825, Michigan would escape its reputation as uninhabitable and barren land, with the opening of the Erie Canal. The canal would allow for the first mass migration to Michigan from New England and New York, and thus open Michigan up to the … Continue reading Michigan’s First Settlers

Blog Topic #2 for HIS 237

Topic: This week the class is looking at the early to mid 19th century, especially they will be focusing on those people settling Michigan after it became a state. Given your primary source readings from The Great Water (especially chapter five), discuss life in Michigan for early settlers. What appealed to them about Michigan? What hardships did they experience? What prejudices may early settlers have had … Continue reading Blog Topic #2 for HIS 237

Plan For Detroit Letter

Cadillac had a lot of prejudices towards the Native Americans. The Iroquois were his main strategic opponents, labeling them as “savages.” Cadillac also boasts superiority both militarily and mentally over the Iroquois by confidently reassuring the recipient of the letter that if the Iroquois are not peaceful, they will be ruined irretrievably. He wants to use the Iroquois as pawns in his own game to … Continue reading Plan For Detroit Letter

To Raise a Village…

The “Plan for Detroit” entry in The Great Water tells of the urgent request from Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac to his French leaders to assist in securing the land for the settlement of Detroit.  The urgency of Cadillac’s request stems from the repeated conflict that the French have faced from the English as well as the Iroquois “savages”.  Additionally, Cadillac notes tensions and distress … Continue reading To Raise a Village…

“Plan for Detroit”

Cadillac didn’t have much respect for the Native Americans. He considered himself of higher power and very modest. He couldn’t gain power over the French government so by betraying the Natives; Cadillac traded women to other tribes to combine different tribes to make his colony bigger.  He lied to the Native Americans by trying to convince them that they need to buy his brandy to … Continue reading “Plan for Detroit”

Blog Topic #1 for HIS 237

Blog Topic: Analyze p. 20-22 “Plan for Detroit” of The Great Water. What does the piece tell us about prejudices Cadillac may have had regarding Native Americans? Why did he write this? What does it tell us about gender norms for Europeans and for Native Americans? How were women used as political pawns in this piece? Continue reading Blog Topic #1 for HIS 237

Michigan History Blog Posts

In our Michigan history class covering the time from first inhabitants of the area through the 1960s, different students will blog weekly in response to the material we covered, as well as questions that I (Professor Amy French) posed to them. Everyone in the class is responsible for commenting. Each week, I will post the blog topic for all our readers to see. –Dr. Amy … Continue reading Michigan History Blog Posts