Dwight H. Kelton.

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President of Mackinac.



Fort Mackinac









Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1884, by

In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


printed by
The~Detroit Free Press Co

;f ** Mi

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Beauteous Isle ! I sing of thee,

Mackinac, my Mackinac;
Thy lake-bound shores I love to see,
Mackinac, my Mackinac.
From Arch Rock's height and shelving steep
To western cliffs and Lover's Leap,
Where memories of the lost one sleep,
Mackinac, my Mackinac.

Thy northern shore trod British foe,

Mackinac, my Mackinac:
That day saw gallant Holmes laid low,
Mackinac, my Mackinac.
Now Freedom's flag above thee waves,
And guards the rest of fallen braves,
Their requiem sung by Huron's waves,
Mackinac, my Mackinac.


r~ ~^HE evenings of another long Mackinac winter have been
-*- spent revising and amplifying the "Annals of Fort

Facts have been simply and briefly stated.

Most of the old local records are in the French language,
in the translation of which I have been assisted by Lieut.
Edward H. Plummer.

As many of the explanations of the geographical names
differ from those usually given and generally accepted, it is
not expected that they will escape criticism.

Most of the views of scenery were prepared especially for
the "Annals," as was also the map of "Ancient Michilimacki-

Among the portraits there are several of persons, more
or less generally known; among them that of Rev. Father
Edward Jacker, widely known as the discoverer of Marquette's
grave ; also that of Col. Pat. Donan, who has done more than
any living man, as author of that beautiful little volume,
" Mackinac Island, the Wave- washed Tourists' Paradise of
the Unsalted Seas," to attract the attention of tourists to the
" Isle of the Dancing Spirits."



Among others I am under obligations to the following :
Residing at Makinac — Dr. John R. Bailey, Hon. John
Biddle, Hon. William P. Preston, Hon. Benoni Lachance,
Hon. James Lasley, Capt. George C. Ketchtjm, James F.
Cable, Esq.

Space in this small volume will not allow me to mention
by name the many persons to whom I am indebted for
valuable assistance, nor the many records, manuscripts and
books consulted.


Fort Mackinac, Mich.,
June, 188b

Fairy Arch.





The name Michilimakinac, or, as the Indians pronounce it,
Mishinimakinang \ properly signifies " The country of the
MisliinimakiP (Thus, Otatvanang, the country of the
Otawa ; Otchipwenang, the country of the Ojibwa ; Osagi-
nang [English, Saginaw], the country of the Osaki, or Sac
Indians). Aiid, in fact, the term " Michilimackinac," or, " the
country of Michilimackinac," was by the early French applied
to a large portion of the eastern half of the Upper Penin-
sula of Michigan.

By degrees the term was restricted to the French and In-
dian settlements on either side of the strait, and finally to
the Island of Mackinac.

The French La Pointe de St. Ignace had likewise a
broader signification than the present Point St. Ignace.

It was applied to the whole of the little peninsula whose
basis may be defined by a line drawn due west from the
mouth of Carp Eiver to Lake Michigan. Our map shows
only the southern half of it.


The " Ancient miners " of upper Michigan probably con-
nected with the " Mound builders " of the Mississippi Valley,
and with the Toltecs and Aztecs, may have had an agricul-
tural out-post at St. Ignace. The vestiges of a mound have
been traced in the neighborhood of Point La Barbe. No
tradition, however, referring to that people is found among
our Indians. The earliest inhabitants known to the latter



were the MishinimaJci, or, as they now call them, Mishini-

According to the statement of a few still surviving at the
time of the French occupation, that tribe was all but exter-
minated by the Iroquois, in retaliation for a successful raid
made by them into the country of the latter.




John Nicolet, on his remarkable journey from Canada to
Green Bay — about 1634 — was undoubtedly the first white
man that saw the Island of Mackinac, and, coasting around
the little peninsula, entered Lake Michigan.

From the meagre account left of his journey, nothing can
be gleaned regarding the inhabitants of the Mackinac country
at that period.

But whatever Indian population that intrepid traveler may
have met there, the whole neighborhood was deserted twenty
years later, when the ascendancy gained by the Iroquois in
consequence of their destructive onslaught on the Huron s
(1649), had compelled all the little Algonquin clans on Lake
Huron to seek safer quarters on Lake Superior and Green
Bay. In 1651, or perhaps the year following, the small
twbe of Tionontate Hurons, on their flight before the Iro-
quois, reached Mackinac, and deeming the island a safe re-
treat, held it for about two years ; but being deceived in their
expectation, retreated to the islands at the mouth of Green
Bay, and later on, to its head.

Some of the old clearings which dot the wooded part of
Mackinac Island may date back to that period, for the Tion-
ontates were tillers of the soil. In the autumn of 1654, two
young Frenchmen, convoyed by Indians, passed Mackinac,
on their way to Green Bay. They repassed the island in the
summer of 1656, with fifty canoes laden with fur for the
Canada market, and manned by five hundred Hurons and

The next Frenchman known to have passed the strait was
Nicolas Perrot, to whose Memoirs we are indebted for a


portion of what we know of those early times. He made
his first journey to Green Bay about 1665. From that date
down to the end of the century, Perrot was a frequent visi-
tor at Mackinac, and on some occasions played a conspicuous
part in the transactions between his countrymen and the In-
dians at that post. At length the Black Gown arrived.
Father Claude Allouez was the first of the Jesuit mission-
aries who saw the far-famed island. He had left Za Pointe
du St. Esprit on Lake Superior in the summer of 1669, and
started from Sault Ste. Marie, November 3rd, with two French
companions and some Pottawatomie Indians. From Novem-
ber 5th to 11th, he lay wind and snow-bound on " Little St.
Martin's Island," to which he probably gave its name, the
day of his departure being St. Martin's day. Crossing over
from " Big St. Martin's Island ' to the opposite shore, he
met two Frenchmen and a few Indians, who endeavored, in
vain to make him desist from his intended visit to Green
Bay, so late in the season.

While coasting along the shore, with the island in view,
the missionary listened with pleasure to the recital, by his
Indian companions, of some of the legends which the author
of Hiawatha has put into English verse. Hiawatha is the
Mena-bosho, or Xena-boslio, of the Algonquins ; and the
Island of Mackinac was considered as his birthplace ; and
again, after the flood, as the locality where that civilizer of
mankind, observing a spider weaving its web, invented the
art of fishing with gill-nets. Father Allouez reached the
head of Green Bay after a month's journey full of hardship
and peril.



In the fall of 1670, Father Claude Dablon, in his capacity
as Superior of the Jesuits on the upper lakes, selected the
point north of the strait, then first called La Pointe de St.
Ignace, as the site of a new missionary establishment in the
place of the mission at La Pointe du St Esprit, on Lake
Superior, then on the point of being abandoned. One of
the fathers, most likely Dablon himself, spent the winter on
the spot, in all probability within the limits of the present
village of St. Ignace, and put up some provisional buildings.

A few Indians only, wintered in the neighborhood, but new
and permanent settlers were expected ; first of all the wander-
ing Tionontate Hnrons. Leaving Green Bay, 1656 or 1657,
that remarkable clan, then consisting of about 500 souls, had
reached the Upper Mississippi, and after many adventures
and reverses, final ly settled on the Bay of Shagawamigong —
now Ashland Bay, Wis. — where Father Allouez met them
in 1665. Since the autumn of 1669, they had been under
the care of Father Marquette, who was now (1671) to accom-
pany them back to the Mackinac country.

The party arrived at St. Ignace towards the end of June,
at the earliest, for at the great gathering of Indians and
French in Saralt Ste. Marie, June 14th, they had not yet
reached the Rapids.

The exact site of Father Marquette's temporary chapel
and hut (cabane) is not known. It appears, however, from
-some incidental remarks in that Father's report and in a later
Ltelation, that those humble buildings stood at some, though
not a very considerable, distance from the Huron fort near
which the second church was built. On December Sth,


1672, Joliet arrived with orders from the Governor of New-
France and the Superior of the Jesuits in Quebec for Father
Marquette, to accompany him on his journey of discovery.

The party spent the winter in St. Ignace, and started May
17th, 1673. At that time the Hurons in St. Ignace num-
bered 3S0 souls.

Some 60 Otawas of the Sinago clan had lately joined them.


In the second year of Marquette's stay, the Tionontates-
began to build their fort or palisaded village. According to
LaHontan's plan, it occupied about the middle of the level
ground surrounding East Moran Bay. And there it re-
mained until the Hurons 1 departure for Detroit, about 1702.
Soon after Marquette's departure, Fathers Henry Xouveland
Philip Pierson, abandoning the old site, built a substantial,
though small, church and an adjoining residence, protected^
after the fashion of the times, by a palisade enclosure. In
this new church Father Marquette's remains were interred,
June 9th, 1677.

There can be no doubt about its position. The Jesuits' re-
port of 167S places it in close proximity to the Huron fort.
So does Lallontan. in 168S. His plan shows it south of the
fort or village, from which he says : "It is only separated
By a palisade enclosure."

And there it undoubtedly remained until its destruction
bv lire, about 1706.




Soon after Marquette's departure, several clans of Otawas
and kindred tribes — all comprised by the missionaries under
the name of Algonquins — made their appearance and settled
on the shore of Lake Huron, a little over two miles from the
Jesuits' residence, accordingly near the bluff called by the
Indians the " She Rabbit," south of the " He Rabbit," or
" Sitting Rabbit " (Rabbit's Back). Here too a church, and a
dwelling house for the Otawa missionary, were built. Ac-
cording to Hennepin, who officiated in it, it was covered with
bark. In 1679, LaSalle honored it with his visit. Of its
later history nothing is known. Besides a floating popula-
tion, sometimes not inconsiderable, the "Algonquin village "
contained, in 1677, as many as 1300 souls, the principal clan
being that of the Kishkako.



LaHontan, who visited St. Ignace in the spring of 16SS,
is silent about that church and settlement, but places an
Otawa village in the immediate neighborhood of the Huron s,
on East Moraii Bay, stating at the same time that during his
stay, the Otawas, apprehending some trouble with their
Huron friends, began to fortify themselves on a neighboring
bluff. From this it would appear that the Algonquins, or
Otawas — a name then applied to most of the northwestern
Algon quins — had, within the last few years, moved about
two miles south. The former presence of an Indian popula-
tion on the bluff above that part of St. Ignace popularly
called " Vide Poche" is proved by the numerous articles of
Indian and French manufacture ploughed up there by some
of the present settlers. The local tradition also places a fort
on that hight.



In 1677, or shortly before, another body of Algonquins —
Otawas properly so called — came to swell the Indian popula-
tion of St. Ignace.

They settled, it appears, on the shore of Lake Michigan,
between Point La Barbe and Gros Cap. This assumption
seems necessary to reconcile the statements, in the Jesuits'
report of 1678, regarding the respective distances between
their residence (near the Huron village) and the two Indian
settlements, the Algonquin village and the " New Otawa
village." The existence of a large Otawa settlement near
Gros Cap, in 1699, is certain from the account given by the
Missionary Buisson de St. Come of his journey from Macki-
nac to the Lower Mississippi. The party, of which the
noble Tonty was one, sent their canoes around the point to
the Otawa village, and walked themselves across the " port-
age." The village counted then about 1500 souls.

In 1702, these Otawas followed Cadillac, with the bulk of
the Indian population of St. Ignace, to his new establish-
ment on the Detroit river, but soon returned to their old
quarters, and finally went over to the northwestern shore of
Lower Michigan, where their descendants are still living. It
was during their second stay on West Moran Bay that the
famous trader who left his name to it lived among them.
The remains of their dead, together with wampum, glass
beads and other articles of Indian and French manufacture,
are frequently found in the sandy ground at the head of the
little Bay.



For the accommodation of the two settlements — the
Algonquin Village on Lake Huron, and the new Otawa
Village on Lake Michigan — Father Henrv Nouvel built a
church of bark at a distance of about two and a half miles
from the residence and church of St. Ignatius ; and. in
honor of the first general of the society who sent mission-
aries to America, named it the church of St. Francis Borgia.
There, with Father Enjalran, he passed the winter of 1677-8,
in a wigwam adjoining the chapel, receiving and instructing
daily frequent visitors from both villages. We do not know
how long that chapel remained in use.

Duluth, who spent the winter of 1680-1 in St. Ignace,
still gives Father Enjalran the title of missionary of St.
Francis Borgia.

The (surmised) removal of the Algonquins from the Rab-
bit Buttes must have made the position of the chapel isolated,
as it was no longer on the thoroughfare between the two


The presence of French settlers at St. Ignace, is first men-
tioned at the occasion of Father Marquette's burial. Accord-
ing to the report of the following year (1678), the singing at
the church of St. Ignatius was alternately in Latin, Huron and
French. The fur and corn trade kept pace with the increase
of the Indian population. LaSalle's arrival on the Griffon
(1679), caused quite a stir in the commercial metropolis of



the West, for nothing less than that the village of St. Ignace
was, and remained, until supplanted by Detroit. Hennepin,
who wintered at the post (16S0-1), mentions his enrolling
forty-two traders into a religious confraternity. LaHontan
locates the houses of the French settlers in two or three rows
along the bend of the shore, south of the Jesuits' residence.
As a matter of course, the whole French population, with the
exception of a few lawless coitreurs cle hois, disappeared
with the removal of the Indians to Detroit.





1534. James Cartier, a Frenchman, discovered the St.
Lawrence River.

160S. Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec.

1634. John Xicolet passes the straits on his way to and
from Green Bay.

1642. The citv of Montreal founded.

1650-51. The Indian settlers of the neighborhood to-
gether with large numbers from Manitoulin, Thunder Bay
and Saginaw, mostly Otawas, intimidated by Iroquois prowess
retire to Green Bay.

1653. Eight hundred Iroquois warriors pass the strait.
Failing to take the Huron fort on Green Bay after a pro-
tracted siege, they break up, one division marching south, the
other sailing northward. The former are cut down by the
Illinois, the latter routed by the Ojibwa, Missisaki and Xigik
(Otter) Indians, on Lake Huron.

1654. Two French traders pass St. Ignace, on their way
to Green Bay, they return in 1656 with a large trading party

60 canoes) of Hurons and Otawas.

1665, or earlier. Nicolas Perrot passes on his first visit to
the Pottawatomi, on Green Bay.

1669. November 11th, Father AUouez passed Point St.
Ignace, on his journey from Sault Ste. Marie to Green Bay r
he relates the following Indian tradition :

They say that this island is the native country of one of their gods, called
"The Great Hare," who created the earth, and that it was on this
island that he invented the nets f jr taking fish, after having attentively-


considered a spider while constructing its web for catching flies. They
believe that Lake Superior is a pond made by the beavers, the banks of
which were double ; the first, at the place which we call the Sault, the
second, five leagues lower down. In coming up the river, they say, this
same god first encountered the second embankment, which he tore entirely
away ; and for this reason there are no falls or turbulent waters at these
rapids : as for the first, being in a hurry, he only walked over it and
trampled it to pieces, in consequence of which there still remain large
falls and boiling waters.

This god, they add, while pursuing a beaver in the upper lake, crossed
at a single step, a bay eight leagues in width. In view of so powerful an
enemy, the beavers thought it best to change their place and consequently
withdrew to another lake; from thence they afterward, by aid of the rivers
that flow from it, arrived at the North Sea, intending to pass over to
France; but finding the water bitter (salt), they lost heart, changed their
intentions, and spread themselves among the rivers and lakes of this

This is the reason why there are no beavers in France, and why the
French have to come here in search of them.

1670-71. Father Dablon, or another Jesuit (possibly
Marquette), winters at Michilimackinac, laying the founda-
tion of the Mission of St. Ignatius.

1671. End of June, or later. The Tionontate Hurons,
with Father Marquette, arrive from Shagawamigong (Ash-
land Bay, L. S.)

Autumn. The Otawas of Manitoulin, on the war-path
against the Sioux, arrive with a large supply of arms
and ammunition lately obtained in Montreal. Joined by
the Hurons of the new settlement, and — on Green Bay —
by the Pottawatomies, Sacs and Foxes, they march through
northern Wisconsin — a well-armed body of a thousand war-
riors — and confidently attack the Sioux in the St. Croix
Valley. Utterly defeated, they retreat through the snow-
covered woods, amidst sufferings and privations that lead to
acts of cannibalism. The heavy loss sustained by the
Hurons, who bravely covered the rear, accounts for the
diminished numbers of the tribe, as stated by Marquette.


1672. The Huroris build their fortified village on East
Moran Bay. December 8th, Joliet arrives and winters at

St. Ignace.

1673. May 17th, Joliet and Marquette, with five other
Frenchmen, start on their voyage of discovery.

1673 or '74. A large body of Otawas and other Algon-
quins, principally Kislikakos, coming from Manitoulin and
the opposite shore settle near Rabbit's Back. Father Henry
Nouvel, Superior of the Otawa Missions, takes charge of
them. Father Philip Pierson becomes pastor of the Hurons.

1674-75. The second and permanent church of St. Igna-
tius and the Jesuits' residence are built at the side of the
Huron village.

1675. Xovember 8th, Father Kouvel, with two French
-companions, starts on a journey to Saginaw Bay and the
interior of Lower Michigan. He arrives near the head
waters of Chippewa River, December 7th, builds a chapel
{the first on the Lower Peninsula), and winters with the
hunters of the Amik (Beaver) Clan.

1676. or thereabouts. Another large body of Otawas
arrive and settle near Gros Cap, on Lake Michigan.

1677. June 7th, The Kishkako Indians, accompanied by
a number of Iroquois, bring Father Marquette's remains to
St. Ignace, where they are interred, on the following day,
within the Jesuits' chapel.

October. Father Enjalran arrives to assist Father Kouvel
in the Otawa Mission.

1677-78. Father Nouvel builds the chapel of St. Francis
Borgia in the woods, between Rabbit's Back and Gros Cap.
Himself and Father Enjalran winter there. The French
and Indian trade begins to assume larger proportions.





1679. LaSalle, on his first expedition to Illinois, arrives
and spends some days at the settlement.

The most remarkable character among the explorers
of the Mississippi Valley, in the latter half of the seven-
teenth century, was Robert Cavelier de LaSalle. Viewed
in the light and sense of worldly enterprise, he is to be con-
sidered as surpassing all others in lofty and comprehensive
aims, in determined energy and unyielding courage, both
moral and physical. He faltered at no laborious undertak-
ing ; no distrust by nerveless friends, no jealous envy or
schemes of active enemies, no misfortune damped the ardor
of his plans and movements. If there was a mountain in
his track, he could scale it ; if a lion beset his path, he could
crush it. Nothing but the hand of the lurking assassin
could quench the fire of that brave heart. We may briefly
say, that LaSalle was born in the city of Rouen, France,
November 22, 1643. The name LaSalle was borrowed from
an estate, in the neighborhood of Rouen, belonging to his
family, the Caveliers. Robert was educated at one of the
Jesuit seminaries, and as one of that order he continued a
short time; but in 1666, he came to America, and it is said
that he made early exploration to the Ohio, and was possibly
near the Mississippi before Joliet and Marquette's voyage
hither. We can here only allude to a few items and facts in
LaSalle's career. It was a marked incident, and so appears
on the historic page, when LaSalle, in 1679, voyaged to
Green Bay on the " Griffon," the first sail vessel of the lakes
above the Falls, and which he had built on the bank of


Cayuga Creek, a tributary of the Xiagara. But that busi*
ness trip was a mere pleasure excursion when compared with
the efforts required of him to engineer and bring about cer-
tain indispensable preparations, involving ways and means,
before the keel of that renowned craft should be laid, and
before she spread her wings to the breeze and departed out-
ward from Buffalo Harbor of the future. And what an
unhesitating morning- walk was that of his. in 16S0, when
he set out on foot from the Fort which (not him) they termed
Broken Heart, where Peoria now is, to go, some twelve
hundred miles perhaps, to Fort Frontenac, where Kingston
now is, at the lower end of Lake Ontario. His unyield-
ing purpose was not to be delayed, but accelerated, by
the avalanche of misfortune which had fallen on him.
He could not wait for railroads, nor turnpikes, nor civil-
ization : he could not even wait for a canoe navigation,
for it was early spring — in the month of March — when
the ice still lingered by the lake shores, and was running
thickly in the streams. So, with one Indian and four
white men, with a small supply of edibles, yet with a
large stock of resolution, he took his way. The journey
was accomplished, and he was back on Lake Michigan
in the autumn ensuing. It has been suggested that his

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