MESSAGE TO EMIGRANTS - 1845
By J. Almy & E. B. Bostwick
The State of Michigan is confidently believed to afford
greater inducements and a more ample field for settlers than any
portion of the western country. In support of this position, and
for the purpose, of giving to the public, correct information in
regard to a particular portion of the State represented: The
following facts are stated for the benefit of those who are about
to emigrate to the West.
Morse's School Geography;
published by the Messrs. Harpers of New York 1845, speaks of the
State of Michigan, thus:
- Michigan, in the centre of the great American lakes is
unsurpassed an advantages for commerce, by any inland State
in the Unhion.
- The population increased from less than 5,000 in 1810, to
more than 200,000 in 1811
- The soil is very fertile, and favorable to all English
grains but wheat is the staple production.
- Copper abounds in the upper or Northern Peninsula;
aquatic fowl, and wild game abound, and white fish caught in
the straits and lakes are largely exported. (6,000 bbls.
exported in 1844)
- Small lakes with clean and sandy bottoms fed from pure
perennial springs, and embossed in beautiful groves, are
profusely scattered over the country
- The increase of population from 1830 to 1840 was from
31,000 to 212,000
These general remarks upon Michigan apply with peculiar
justness and truth to a section thereof, now known as the Grand
River Country; embracing the counties of Ottawa, Kent and Ionia,
Grand River, one of the largest rivers in the State flows through
the aforesaid country; its waters into Lake Michigan exactly
opposite Milwaukee, affording at its mouth one of the finest
harbors on all the lakes. In the valley, and on the banks of this
River, are some of the finest Lands in the State.
By an act of Congress, the State of Michigan was authorized to
select from the Lands of the General Government, 500,000 acres
for internal improvement; a large portion of which, were selected
on the Grand River, principally in the counties of Ottawa, Kent
and Ionia. These lands were selected by an agent of great skill
and judgment in such matters; and they are now in market at $1.25
per acre. The settler however, can now procure them for less by
purchasing State liabilities and warrants, at 55 to 60 c. on the
dollar which are received in payment at par. Thus making the land
cost about 70 cents per acre. These warrants can be purchased in
the principle villages along the Rail Road.
locations are confidently recommended to those who design
removing to the West, and for the following reasons: They are as
good binds as are to be found in this, or any other State or
Territory. Their proximity to navigable waters and market forms
are important consideration as regards farming operations. They
are finely watered; many on the tributaries to Grand River
flowing through them, affording numerous mill seats and water
powers building materials of every description are in great
abundance and cheap. Climate mild, and remarkably healthy.
By an inspection of the annexed map, it will be perceived
that the State of Michigan, is surrounded by a coast of navigable
waters of more than 1200 miles in extent. A number of large
and beautiful rivers from the interior discharge their waters
into the surrounding lakes - of these Grand River is the largest;
at Grand Rapids forty miles from its mouth. It is over 800 feet
wide, and is navigable upwards of ninety miles!
Haven, Grand Rapids and Ionia are at present the principal towns
on Grand River. Grand Rapids, however, is the important point; is
now, and probably always will be, the market for the rich and
extensive country about it. It derives much of its importance
from the great amount of water power which even at present, is
extensively used for various manufacturing purposes. That some
idea may be formed as to its business operations, reference
is had to the following statement.
- There are Fifteen stores, Three flour mills, Two
sawmills, Two furnaces and machine shops, Two pail factories,
Two tanneries, One woolen factory, One sash factory, Salt
works, Plaster mill, Two hatters, Three shoe shops, Three
tailors, One tin and coppersmith, One sadder, Several
blacksmiths, Three public houses, Two printing offices, Four
churches, One incorporated academy, and Four physicians.
One important fact for the consideration of the emigrant is
that lumber on Grand River can be obtained at five dollars per
1000 feet. About fifteen million feet of lumber was manufactured
on Grand River for export trade during the last season and sent
to Milwaukee and Chicago.
From Grand Rapids to the City of
New York, there is an uninterrupted water communication, and
merchandise was shipped from New York to the mouth of the Grand
River at sixty-five cents per 100 lbs. during the past season.
Salt is manufactured to some extent at Grand Rapids; and
Plaster and Lime to an unlimited amount, and of superior quality.
Grand River passes over a limestone ledge at Grand Rapids
forty miles above its mouth, creating a fall of over fifteen feet
in a mile, furnishing a water power equal to any in the United
States. Persons wishing to visit this portion of Michigan can do
so by passing around the great lakes to the mouth of Grand River
and up the river by steamboat which makes daily trips, or take
the railroad to Detroit, for Battle Creek, and from thence by
state; which run six times a week.
Furniture and heavy
luggage can be sent by way of the lakes, and Grand River at less
expense than it can be transported across the country.
water power at this place is created by taking the water out at
the head of the Rapids and running a canal parallel with the bank
& the river at a sufficient distance from the river to place
buildings between it and the river.
The canal is 80 feet
wide and five feet deep, making a water power of greater
magnitude than anywhere in the State. Grand Rapids must soon be a
large manufacturing town.
Michigan is admirably adapted to
the growth of Sheep, the increased production of wool for the
last two years, has been 34,000 to 236,000 lbs. as shown by
export from Detroit alone.
We call the attention of
persons about to seek new homes in the West, in the facts set
forth in this communication and caution them against interested
persons who may wish to direct them elsewhere.
these statements in relation to the State of Michigan, based upon
a residence there for more than nine years.
ability to judge, and the measure of confidence to be placed in
the foregoing statement, we respectively refer to the following
Sogmed - J. ALMY & E. B. BOSTWICK -
Mess. GRAHAM, BIBB & GRAHAM
MERRITT & CO.
SPOFFORD & TILESTON
N. & H. WEED
Hon. CHAS. T. CARROLL,
Livingston Co. N.Y.
W. T. CARROLL, Washington City
SALTONSTALL, Salem, MA
LE GRAND CANNON, Esq., Troy, N.Y.
JOHN P. REZNOR, Esq. Ashland, Ohio
Dr. DOUGLASS HOUGHTON,
WM. HOLLISTER, Esq., Buffalo, N.Y.
ERASTUS CORNING, Albany, N.Y.
Mess. ROBINSON, PRATT & CO.,