History of Michigan
From "The History of Macomb"
Page 17 to Page 133
Chicago, M.A. Leeson & Co 1882
Line Divider



Scientists have ascribed to the Mound Builders varied origins, and though their divergence of opinion may, for a time, seem incompatible with a thorough investigation of the subject, and tend to a confusion of ideas, no doubt whatever may exist as to the comparative accuracy of conclusions arrived at by a few of the investigators. Like the vexed questions of the Pillar Towers and Garden Beds it has caused much speculation, and elicited opinions from so many antiquarians, ethnologists, and travelers, that little remains to be known of the prehistoric peoples of America. That this continent is co-existent with the world of the ancients can not be questioned. Every investigation, made under the auspices of modern civilization confirms the fact and leaves no channel open through which the skeptic can escape the thorough refutation of his opinions. China, with its numerous living testimonials of antiquity, with its ancient, though limited, literature and its Babelish superstitions, claims a continuous history from antediluvian times ; but although its continuity may be denied with every just reason, there is nothing to prevent the transmission of a hieroglyphic record of its history prior to 1656 Anno Mundi, since many traces of its early settlement survived the Deluge, and became sacred objects of the first historical epoch- This very survival of a record, such as that of which the Chinese boast, is not at variance with the designs of a God who made and ruled the universe; but that an antediluvian people inhabited this continent, will not be claimed; because it is not probable, though it may be possible, that a settlement in a land which may be considered a portion of the Asiatic continent, was effected by the immediate followers of the first progenitors of the human race. Therefore, on entering the study of the ancient people who raised these tumulus monuments over large tracts of the country, it will be just sufficient to wander back to that time when the flood-gates of heaven were swung open to hurl destruction on a wicked world t and in doing so the inquiry must be based on legendary, or rather upon many circumstantial evidences ; for, so far as written narrative extends, there is nothing to show that a movement of people too far east resulted in a western settlement.


The first and most probable sources in which the origin of the Builders must be sought, are those countries lying along the eastern coast of Asia, which doubtless at that time stretched far beyond its present limits, and presented a continuous shore from Lapatka to Point Cambodia, holding a population comparatively civilized, and all professing some elementary form of Boodhism of later days. Those peoples, like the Chinese of the present, were bound to live at home, and probably observed that law until after the confusion of languages and the dispersion of the builders of Babel, in 1757, A. M.; but subsequently, within the following century, the old Mongolians, like the new, crossed the great ocean in the very paths taken by the present representatives of the race, arrived on the same shores, which now extend a very questionable hospitality to them, and entered at once upon the colonization of the country south and east, while the Caucasian race engaged in a similar movement of exploration and colonization over what may be justly termed the western extension of Asia, and both peoples growing stalwart under the change, attained a moral and physical eminence to which they never could lay claim under the tropical sun which shed its beams upon the cradle of the human race.

That mysterious people who, like the brahmins of today, worshipped some transitory deity, and in after years, evidently embraced the idealization of Boodhism, as preached in Mongolia early in the thirty-fifth century of the world, together with acquiring the learning of the Confucian and Pythagorean schools of the same period, spread all over the land, and in their numerous settlements erected these raths, or mounds, and sacrificial altars whereon they received their periodical visiting gods, surrendered their bodies to natural absorption or annihilation, and watched for the return of some transmigrated soul, the while adoring the universe, which with beings they believed would be eternally existent. They possessed religious orders corresponding, in external show at least, with the Essenes or Theraputse of the pre-Christian and Christian epochs, and to the reformed Theraputse or monks of the present. Every memento of their coming and their stay which has descended to us is an evidence of their civilized condition. The free copper found within the tumuli; the open veins of the Superior and Iron Mountain copper mines, with all the modus operandi of ancient mining, such as ladders, levers, chisels and hammerheads, discovered by the French explorers of the Northwest and Mississippi, are conclusive proofs that those prehistoric people were highly civilized, and that many flourishing colonies were spread throughout the Mississippi Valley, while yet the mammoth, the mastodon, and a hundred other animals, now only known by their gigantic fossil remains, guarded the eastern shore of the continent, as it were, against supposed invasions of the Tower Builders who went west from Babel; while yet the beautiful isles of the Antilles formed an integral portion of this continent, long years before the European Northmen dreamed of setting forth to the discovery of Greenland and the northern isles, and certainly at a time when all that portion of America north of 45 deg. was an ice-incumbered waste.

Within the last few years great advances have been made toward the discovery of antiquities whether pertaining to remains of organic or inorganic nature. Together with many small but telling relics of the early inhabitants of the country, the fossils of prehistoric animals have been unearthed from end to end of the land, and in districts, too, long pronounced by geologists of some repute to be without even a vestige of vertebrate fossils. Among the collected souvenirs of an age about which so very little is known, are twenty-five vertebrae averaging thirteen inches in diameter, and three vertebrae, ossified together measuring nine cubical feet; a thigh-bone five feet long by twenty-eight in diameter, and the shaft fourteen by eight inches thick, the entire lot weighing 600 pounds. These fossils are presumed to belong to the cretaceous period when the Dinosaur roamed over the country from east to west, desolating the villages of the people. This animal is said to be sixty feet long, and when feeding in cypress and palm forests, to extend himself eighty-five feet, so that he may devour the budding tops of those great trees. Other efforts in this direction may lead to great results, and culminate probably in the discovery of a tablet engraven by some learned Mound Builder, describing, in the ancient hieroglyphics of China, all those men and beasts whose history excites so much speculation. The identity of the Mound Builders with the Mongolians might lead us to hope for such a consummation ; nor is it beyond the range of probability, particularly in this practical age, to find the future of some industrious antiquarian requited by the upheaval of a tablet written in the Tartar characters of 1700 years ago, bearing on a subject which can now be treated only on a purely circumstantial basis.


may have begun a few centuries prior to the Christian era, and unlike the former expedition or expeditions, to have traversed northeastern Asia, to its Arctic confines, and then east to the narrow channel now known as Behring's Straits, which they crossed, and sailing up the unchanging Yukon, settled under the shadow of Mount St. Elias for many years, and pushing south commingled with their countrymen, soon acquiring the characteristics of the descendants of the first colonists. Chinese chronicles tell of such a people, who went north, and were never heard of more. Circumstances conspire to render that particular colony the carrier of a new religious faith and of an alphabetic system of representative character to the old colonists, and they, doubtless, exercised a most beneficial influence in other respects; because the influx of immigrants of such culture as were the Chinese, even of that remote period, must necessarily bear very favorable results, not only in bringing in reports of their travels, but also accounts from the fatherland bearing on the latest events.

With the idea of a second and important exodus there are many theorists united, one of whom says: " It is now the generally received opinion that the first inhabitants of America passed over from Asia through these straits."

The Esquimaux of North America, the Samoieds of Asia, and the Laplanders of Europe, are supposed to be of the same family; and this supposition is strengthened by the affinity which exists in their languages. The researches of Humboldt have traced the Mexicans to the vicinity of Behring's Straits; whence it is conjectured, that they, as well as the Peruvians and other tribes, came originally from Asia, and were the Hurignoos, who are, in the Chinese annals, said to have emigrated under Puno, and to have been lost in the north of Siberia."

Since this theory is accepted by most antiquarians, there is every reason to believe that from the discovery of what may be called an overland route to what was then considered an eastern extension of that country which is now known as the "Celestial Empire," many caravans of emigrants passed to their new homes in the land of illimitable possibilities until the way became a well-marked trail over which the Asiatic might travel forward, and having once entered the Elysian fields never entertained an idea of returning. Thus from generation to generation the tide of immigration poured in until the slopes of the Pacific and the banks of the great inland rivers became hives of busy industry. Magnificent cities and monuments were raised at the bidding of the tribal leaders, and populous settlements centered with happy villages, sprung up everywhere in manifestation of the power and wealth and knowledge of the people. The colonizing Caucasian of the historic period walked over this great country on the very ruins of a civilization which a thousand years before eclipsed all that of which he could boast. He walked through the wilderness of the West over buried treasures hidden under the accumulated growth of nature, nor rested until he saw, with great surprise, the remains of ancient pyramids and temples and cities, larger and evidently more beautiful than ancient Egypt could bring forth after its long years of uninterrupted history. The pyramids resemble those of Egypt in exterior form, and in some instances are of larger dimensions. The pyramid of Cholula is square, having each side of its base 1,335 feet in length, and its height about 172 feet. Another pyramid, situated in the north of Vera Cruz, is formed of large blocks of highly polished porphyry, and bears upon its front hieroglyphic inscriptions and curious sculpture. Each side of its square base is eighty-two feet in length, and a flight of fifty-seven steps conducts to its summit, which is sixty-five feet in height. The ruins of Palenque are said to extend twenty miles along the ridge of a mountain, and the remains of an Aztec city near the banks of the river Gila, are spread over more than a square league. Their literature consisted of hieroglyphics; but their arithmetical knowledge did not extend further than their calculations by the aid of grains of corn. Yet, notwithstanding all their varied accomplishments, and they were evidently many, their notions of religious duty led to a most demoniac zeal, at once barbarously savage and ferociously cruel. Each visiting god, instead of bringing new life to the people, brought death to thousands; and their grotesque idols, exposed to drown the senses of the beholders in fear, wrought wretchedness rather than spiritual happiness, until, as some learned and humane Montezumian said, the people never approached these idols without fear, and this fear was the great animating principle, the great religious motive power which sustained the terrible religion. Their altars were sprinkled with blood drawn from their own bodies in large quantities, and on them thousands of human victims were sacrificed in honor of the demons whom they worshipped. The head and heart of every captive taken in war were offered up as a bloody sacrifice to the god of battles, while the victorious legions feasted on the remaining portions of the dead bodies. It has been ascertained that, during the ceremonies attendant on the consecration of two of their temples, the number of prisoners offered up in sacrifice was 12,210; while their own legions contributed voluntary victims to the terrible belief in large numbers. Nor did this horrible custom cease immediately after 1521, when Cortez entered the imperial city of the Montezumas; for, on being driven from it, all his troops who fell into the hands of the native soldiers were subjected to the most terrible and prolonged suffering that could be experienced in this world, and when about to yield up that spirit which is indestructible, were offered in sacrifice, their hearts and heads consecrated, and the victors allowed to feast on the yet warm flesh.

A reference is made here to the period when the Montezumas ruled over Mexico, simply to gain a better idea of the hideous idolatry which took the place of the old Boodhism of the Mound Builders, and doubtless helped in a great measure to give victory to the new-comers, even as the tenets of Mahommetanism urged the ignorant followers of the prophet to the conquest of great nations. It was not the faith of the people who built the mounds and the pyramids and the temples, and who, two hundred years before the Christian era, built the great wall of jealous China. No; rather was it that terrible faith born of the Tartar victory, which carried the great defence's of China at the point of the javelin and hatchet, who afterwards marched to the very walls of Rome, under Alaric, and spread over the islands of Polynesia to the Pacific slopes of South America.


came there, and, like the pure Mongols of Mexico and the Mississippi valley, rose to a state of civilization bordering on that attained by them. Here for centuries the sons of the fierce Tartar race continued to dwell in comparative peace, until the all-ruling empire took in the whole country from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and peopled the vast territory watered by the Amazon, with a race that was destined to conquer all the peoples of the Orient, and only to fall before the march of the arch-civilizing Caucasian. In course of time these fierce Tartars pushed their settlements northward, and ultimately entered the territories of the Mound Builders, putting to death all who fell within their reach, and causing the survivors of the death-dealing invasion to seek a refuge from the hordes of this semi-barbarous people in the wilds and fastnesses of the North and Northwest. The beautiful country of the Mound Builders was now in the hands of savage invaders, the quiet, industrious people, who raised the temples and pyramids were gone; and the wealth of intelligence and industry accumulating for ages, passed into the possession of a rapacious horde, who could admire it only so far as it offered objects for plunder.

Even in this the invaders were satisfied, and then, having arrived at the height of their ambition, rested on their swords and entered upon the luxury and ease, in the enjoyment of which they were found when the vanguard of European civilization appeared upon the scene. Meantime the southern countries which these adventurers abandoned after having completed their conquests in the North, were soon peopled by hundreds of people, always moving from island to island and ultimately halting amid the ruins of villages deserted by those who, as legends tell, had passed eastward but never returned; and it would scarcely be a matter for surprise if those emigrants were found to be the progenitors of that race found by the Spaniards in 1532, and identical with the Araucanians, Cuenches and Huiltiches of today.



The fame of Marquette continues to gain strength as days advance. Notwithstanding all his countrymen had written of him, the new Americans continue to inquire into his magnificent career, and to add to the store of information regarding him, already garnered. Rev. Geo. Duffield, of Detroit, is one of his latest biographers, and from his writings on the life of the missionary, we make the following extracts:

Jacques Marquette came late to his fame. Open Davenport's Dictionary of Biography, 1831, "comprising the most eminent characters of all ages, nations and professions," and you will not find even so much as his name. Turn for that name to the Cyclopedia of Biography by Parke Godwin, with a supplement by George Sheppard. A. D. 1872, and you will not find it there, and so with many similar works. Hence we see the need of such an historical society as the present, that one of the greatest and best of the original founders of Michigan may receive his due credit, and be honored with an appropriate memorial.

Marquette was born of an honorable family at Laon, in the north of France, in the year 1687, but the month and day of his birth are not easily found, and I have nowhere seen his portrait. In 1654 he joined the Society of the Jesuits, and in 1666 was sent to the missions in Canada. After the river St. Lawrence and the great lakes had been mapped out, the all-absorbing object of interest with Governor Frontenac Talch, the attendant, and Marquette himself, was to discover and trace from the north the wonderful Mississippi, that DeSoto, the Spaniard, had first seen at the south in 1541. In 1668 (according to Bancroft, III, 152), he repaired to the Chippewas at the Sault to establish the mission of St. Mary, the oldest settlement begun by Europeans within the present limits of the commonwealth of Michigan. On the day of the immaculate conception of the Holy Virgin, in 1673, he received his orders from Frontenac, to accompany Joliet on his long-desired journey. Taking probably the short trail through the woods he found his companion at Point St. Ignacc, where, after many remarkable vicissitudes, both in life and death, he was at length to find his grave, where his numerous friends and admirers, both French and Indian, were for so long a time to lose sight of it again, and where a second time he gains his place as one of the founders of Michigan.

Apart from his peculiar mission, which was looked upon by "the Protestant colonies" of New England with anything but favorable eyes; apart from his peculiar dogma of the conception, which has only been officially sanctioned in our day and by the late Pope, there were many things in the life and times of Marquette that, to tho lover of biography, make his character as attractive as that of Francis Xavier,- "the great apostle of the Indies," or of his still greater master, Ignatius Loyola. The man in these days who can not admire, and even to a certain extent venerate man as man, apart from his more immediate antecedents or local surroundings, has but a very limited and mistaken idea of the enlightened spirit of the age, or the true dignity of human nature. Honor to whom honor is due, is not only a sound maxim, founded on that equity which is the highest form of justice, but ia also in just so many words one of the very first principles of Christianity itself. When I can not give a man credit for what he really is, because he belongs to another party than my own, or give him credit for what he has done, because he belongs to another denomination than my own, I deserve to be consigned for the remainder of my days to a hole in the woods.

The pioneers of our country, no doubt, have had a very hard time of it, and none more so than ray Scotch-Irish ancestors in central Pennsylvania, From the childhood of Daniel Webster down to the present hour, it would argue a very ignorant mind and most unfeeling and ungrateful heart to read the toils and trials and privations endured by men and women in the early settlement of this or any other State; but after all what are the hardships of the early settlers compared with those of Allouez, in 1665, afloat in a frail canoe on the broad expanse of Lake Superior, of Dablon, Marquette, LaSalle, and others of the original explorers? "Defying the severity of climate," as Bancroft has it," wading through water or through snows, without the comfort of fire; having no bread but pounded corn, and often no food but the unwholesome moss from the rocks; laboring incessantly, exposed to live, as it were, without nourishment, to sleep without a resting place; to travel far, and always incurring perils; to carry their lives in their hands; or rather daily and oftener than every day, to hold them up as targets, expecting captivity, death from the tomahawk, tortures, fires"—(Bancroft, III., 152.) It seems to me that if there are any two classes of men who should be most cordially linked in closest bonds of sympathy with one another, it is the pioneers and explorers.

Marquette was much more than a religious enthusiast. He was a scholar and a man of science. Having learned within a few years to speak with ease in six different languages, his talents as a linguist were quite remarkable. A subtle element of romance pervaded his character, which not only makes it exoeedingly attractive to us in the retrospect, but was no doubt one of the great sources and elements of his power and success among his beloved Ottawas and Hurons, and others of the great Algonquin tribes, who were found in the immediate vicinity of the straits of Michilimackinac. With a fine eye for natural beauty, he was as much delighted with a rapid river, or extended lake, with an old forest or rolling prairie, or a lofly mountain as a Birch, or a Cole, or a Bierstndt. Every one who touches his character seems emulous of adorning it with a new epithet. Parkman speaks of him as "the humble Marquette, who with clasped hands and up-turned eyes, seems a figure evoked from some dim legend of mediaeval saintahip." Bancroft calls him " the meek, gentle, single-hearted, unpretending, illustrious Marquette."— Vol. III., p. 157. Many call him "the venerated;" all unite in calling him "the good Marquette," and by this last, most simple, but appropriate title he will be the best remembered by the generations yet to come. "A man who was delighted at the happy necessity of exposing his life to bring the word of God" within reach of half a continent deserves that title if any one does. His Catholic eulogist, John Gilman Shea, (Catholic World, November, 1877, p. 267,) writes with pardonable pride: " No missionary of that glorious band of Jesuits who in the seventeenth century announced the faith from the Hudson Bay to the lower Mississippi, who hallowed by their labors and life-blood so many a wild spot now occupied by the busy lives of men, none of them impresses us more in his whole life and career with his piety, sanctity and absolute devotion to God, than Father Marquette. In life he seems to have been looked up to with reverence by the wildest savage, by the rude frontiersman, and by tho polished officers of government. When he had passed away, his name and his fame, so marked in the great West, was treasured above that of his fellow-laborers, Menard, Allouez, Nouvel or Druillettes." May I not add that, most of all other States, his name and his fame should be dear to Michigan?

Such, then, was the man who on the 17th of May, 1673, with the simple outfit of two birch canoes, n supply of smoked meat and Indian corn, and a crew of five men, embarked on what was then known as Lac Des Illinois, now Lake Michigan. June 10th they came to the portage, in Wisconsin, (III., 158,) and after carrying their canoes some two miles over marsh and prairie, 41 he committed himself to the current that was to boar them he knew not whither—perhaps to the Gulf of Mexico, perhaps to the Smth. Sea, or the Gulf of California." June 17, 1673, where now stands Prairie Du Chien, he had found what he sought, "and with a joy that I can not express we steered forth our canoes on the Mississippi, or great river." We know that the honor of this discovery is very stoutly contested in favor of LaSalle, but for the present wo confidently hold with Parknmn (Discovery of the Great West, p. 25):11 LaSalle discovered the Ohio, and in all probability the Illinois also; but that he discovered the Mississippi has not been proved, nor in the light of the evidence we have, is it likely." In 1846 W. J. A. Bradford, in his notes on the Northwest, says very dogmatically: "Father Hennepin must undoubtedly be considered the discoverer of the Mississippi;" but if the proof of it is only to be established by Hennepin's own narrative, which Parkman describes as a rare monument of brazen mendacity, the proof is still wanting. His famous voyage from the Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico must be considered not only as a falsehood, but a plagiarism.

Fortunately for the fame of Marquette, tho true record of his labors was not left to doubtful tradition and the hearsay testimony of Charlevoix. Among the papers some twenty-five years since in the archives of the College of Quebec are accounts of the last labors and death of Father Marquette, and of the removal of his remains, prepared for publication by Father Dablon; Marquette's journal of his great expedition, the very map he drew, and a letter left unfinished at the time of his death. So at least says Mr. Shea, and that these documents are to be found in his work on the discovery and exploration of the Mississippi Valley.

Leaving, then, the doubtful narrative of Charlevoix and the romantic page of Bancroft founded upon it, we learn the real story of his death. October 25, 1674, he again left St. Ignace to fulfill a promise to the Kaskaskias in Illinois. December 4th he reached Chicago, hoping to ascend the river, and by a portage reach the Illinois: but the ice had closed the stream and it was too late. A winter march, facing tho cutting wind of the prairie was beyond his strength. His two faithful companions erected a log hut home and chapel—the fint dwelling and the Jiret church of the fint white fetttement of the city—known for its great misfortune the world over, the city of Chicago.

With the opening of Spring the good father again set out, and his last letter notes his progress till the 6th of April, 1675. "Just after Easter he was again stricken by disease (dysentery), and he saw that if ho would die in the arms of his brethren" at St. Ignace, he must depart at once. Escorted by the Kaskaskias, who were deeply impressed by his zeal, he reached Lake Michigan, gave orders to his faithful men to launch his canoe, and commenced his adventurous voyage along that still unknown and dangerous shore. His strength, however, failed so much that his men despaired of being ablo to convey him alive to their journey's end; for in fact he became so weak and so exhausted that he could no longer help himself, nor even stir, and had to be handled and carried like a child. Ho nevertheless in this state maintained an admirable resignation, joy and gentleneas, consoling his beloved companions, and encouraging then to suffer courageously all the hardships of this voyage." On the eve of his death, which was on Friday, he told them, all radiant with joy, that it would take place on the morrow, and spoke so calmly and collectedly of his death and burial that you would have thought it was another's and not his own.

Thus did he speak to them as they sailed along the lake, till perceiving the mouth of a river, with an eminence on the bank which he thought suited to his burial, he told them that it was the place of his last repose. They wished, however, to pass on, as the weather permitted it and the day was not far advanced; but God raised a oontrary wind, which obliged them to return and enter the river which the father had designated.

They then carried him ashore, kindled a little fire and raised a bark cabin for his use, laying him in it with as little discomfort as they could; but they were so depressed by sadness that, as they afterward said, they did not know what they were doing."

"God did not permit so precious a deposit to remain unhonored and forgotten amid the forests. The Indians called Kiskakons, who have for nearly ton years publicly professed Christianity, in which they wore first instructed by Father Marquette, when stationed at La Poiute du St. Esprit, at the extremity of Lake Superior, were hunting last year, not far from Lake Illinois (i.e. Michigan), and as they were returning early in the Spring they resolved to pass the tomb of their good father, whom they tenderly loved, and God even gave them the thought of taking his bones and conveying them to our church at tho mission of St. Ignatius. "They accordingly repaired to the spot; and deliberated together, resolving to act with their father, as they usually do with those whom they respect. They opened the grave, unrolled the body, and though the flesh and intestines were all dried up, they found it entire, without the skin boing injured. This did not prevent their dissecting it according to custom. They washed the bones and dried them in the sun; then putting them neatly in a box of birch bark, they set out to bear them to our house at St. Ignatius.

"The convoy consisted of nearly thirty canoes in excellent order, including even a good number of the Iroquois " (a very ferocious tribe, who were a great terror to other tribes and especially hostile to the Jesuits), "who had joined our Algonquins to honor the ceremony. As they approached our house Father Nouvel, who is superior, went to meet them with Father Pierson, accompanied by all the French and Indians of the place; and having caused the convoy to stop, he made the ordinary interrogations to verify the fact that the body which they bore was really Father Marquette. Then before they landed he intoned the De Profundis in sight of the thirty canoes still on the water, and of all the people still on the shore. After this the body was carried to the church, observing all that the ritual prescribes for such ceremonies. It remained exposed under his catafalque all that day, which was Whitsun Monday, the 8th of June, and the next day, when all the funeral honors had been paid to it, it was deposited in a little vault in the middle of the church, where he reposes as the guardian angel of our Ottawa missions." So far the invaluable record of Dablon. We come now to 1706, when for well- known reasons, for which we can not pause, the Jesuits at St. ignace broke up their mission, set fire to their house and chapeL and returned to Quebec. What became of the bones of Marquette? Did they carry them with them to Quebec? No; they left in haste, and fled almost as for their lives. "There is nothing in Canadian registers, which are extensive, full and well preserved." "Charlevoix, who was at Quebec on the return of the missionaries, is silent." There is little doubt, therefore, that the precious remains of the great explorer still lay in the chapel.

But the very site of the chapel was soon lost. The new chapel, still standing, was confessedly not on the site of the old one. Could tho old site ever be identified? It seemed very doubtful indeed. True, there were a few local and legendary traditions to which reference was made some years since in his correspondence by the Hon. E. G. D. Holden, our present Secretary of State.

An Indian now living in St. Ignace told me early last Summer that "his father told him, and that his father told Aim," and pointed out to him the place on the shore of the bay whore a black cross used to stand, which was understood to "point out the direction" of the good fathers grave, and where the voyagers would invoke his blessing. I also have it in writing from a very intelligent Indian, that last Summer he called on an aged Indian woman in Petoskey, claiming to be in her 100th year. "I asked her if she had heard, when a girl, anything concerning the Kitchi-ma-ka*da-na-co-na-yay, or "great priest." She said, "Yea. He died at the mouth of the river, and his body was carried to Min-is-sing,"i. e. to St. Ignace. These are but specimens of many similar traditions; but would there ever be anything more than tradition?

Early in July I heard in Detroit for the first time, from Col. Stockbridge, who has a large lumber interest in St, Ignace; that when he left there was a report that the site of the old chapel had been discovered. If so, thought I, then we have found Pere Marquette's grave at last—for the one statement in which all seem to agree is that he was buried in the middle of the chapel.

On my arrival in Mackinac I lost but little time before starting for St. Iguace. Though only four miles off we tacked a dozen times and took four hours, and worked hard at that.

On reaching Mr. Murray's house, where the supposed discovery had been made, I found precisely what had been described a few days before by a correspondent of the Evening Newt.


Correspondence of the Evening News.
Mackinac, July 12, 1877.

The readers of the Evening News will recollect the recently reported discovery at St. Ignace of the site of the mission chapel founded by Father Marquette in 1670, and under the pavement of which his bones were subsequently deposited. The account created considerable sensation among antiquaries. Being in Mackinac, within four miles of St. Ignatius, I improved the opportunity to cross over and see for myself what the discoveries amounted to. The little steamer Truscott crosses each afternoon; fare fifty cents. A few steps from the landing we turn into a potato patch, just beyond which the boy who pilots us suddenly announces, "Here's the place." At first glance nothing can be observed more than might be noticed on any vacant lot in Detroit. A closer examination, however, reveals a very slight trench about a foot and a half wide, forming a rectangle 35 by 45 feet and located very nearly, if not exactly, with the points of tho compass, the longer measurement being in the direction of east and west. At places in this trench rough stones lay embedded in the earth. At the southern side of the space, about nine feet from the western side, is a hole say three feet deep and eight or ton square, and in the southeast corner another smaller hole. Until the present Spring tho site has been covered with a growth of young spruce, the clearing off of which led to the supposed discovery. The larger hole is assumed to have been a cellar under the church in which the valuables are kept; the smaller hole is thought to mark the position of the baptismal font, though why an excavation should be made for it is more than I can conjecture. A few feet west of the rectangle described above are two heaps of stone and earth, evidently the debris of two ruined chimneys. The outlines of the houses to which the chimneys belonged can also be faintly traced. Mr. Murray, the owner of the ground, is a well-to-do Catholic Irishman, owning as he does 600 acres of laud on the Point. He has lived on the place for twenty years past, and before that lived on Mackinac Island. He is inclined to bo superstitious and to magnify the mystery to which he believes he holds the key. As illustrative of this he remarked in my presence that when he was about to build a cow-house some time ago, his sons wished it located on what he now believes to be the site of the ancient church, but the protecting influences of that sacred spot strangely impelled him to adopt a different location. He is confident that by digging below the surface at the center of the church, the "mocock" of bones would be discovered, but thus far owing to a difference between himself and the parish priest, not a spadeful of earth has been turned. The priest believes the location to be the correct one, and is anxious to excavate, but Mr. Murray refuses to permit it without a pledge that whatever is found shall not be carried away from the Point. He offers to give ground for the erection of a church or a monument on the spot, but insists that the sacred relics, if found, must be left where they have for two centuries rested. The bishop is expected at St. Iguace shortly, when the question will be laid before him for adjustment.

Now as to the probability of the discovery being confirmed by others yet to be made, I must confess to being less sanguine than Mr. Murray and his neighbors. It is certain that the two ruined chimneys alluded to indicate the location of dwellings at some period in the past. Bits of iron, copper and looking-glass found in the debris attest this; but whether the buildings stood fifty years ago or 200 no oue can positively assert. Mr. Murray has known the spot for a quarter of a century, and can vouch for no change having occurred in that time. I think it likely that they are of a much older date. In regard to the assumed church site I think the probabilities favor the existence there at one time of a building of some sort. Whether it occupied the limits assumed—45 by 85 feet—is less certain, while the existence of the cellar would seem to indicate that it was a dwelling rather than a church. On the other hand, it is certain that the mission was founded in this immediate vicinity, and the Murray farm, as fronting on the most protected part of the bay, and affording the best landing for boats, is certainly as likely a spot for Marquette to have adopted as any. Hut nothing can be told with any certainty till thorough investigation is made.

The tradition is that the mission was founded in 1670, that Marquette subsequently visited Wisconsin and Illinois, establishing mission stations as far up the lake as Chicago; that upon his return via the eastern shore of Lake Michigan he died at the mouth of the Pere Marquette river, where Ludington now stands, and was buried there. A few years later his bones were taken up, cleaned and packed in a mocock, or box made of birch bark, and were conveyed with duo solemnity back to St. Ignace, where they were permanently deposited beneath the middle of the church. At a still later period Indian wars broke up the mission, and to protect the church from sacrilege the missionaries burnod it to the ground. I also found in the possession of the prosent priest of St. Ignace, Father Jaoka (pronounced Yocca), a pen and ink sketch, on which I looked with most intense interest. This iuvaluable drawing gives tho original site of the French village, the "home of the Jesuits," the Indian village, the Indian fort on the bluff, and, most important of all, very accurately defines the contour of a little bay known as Na- owa—Wikweiamashong—i. e., as Mr. Jacker gave it, Nadowa Huron. Wik-weia —Here is a bay. Anglice—"Little bay of the Hurons" or according to the Chippewa dictionary of Barraga, "Bad bay of the Iroquois squaw." Of the Indian village there is no trace. Their wigwams, built only of poles and bark, have not left a single vestige. Not so with the French village. You may still see the remains of their logs and plaster, and the ruins of their chimneys. On the supposed site of the house of the Jesuits, some 40 by 30 feet, are found distinct outlines of walls, a little well, and a small cellar. Immediately in tho rear of the larger building are the remains of a forge, where "the brothers" used to make spades or swords, as the occasion might require.

On further inquiry of the priest, who was equally remarkable for his candor and intelligence, and the length of his beard, I found that the sketch of the house of the Jesuits was taken by him from the travels of La Hen ton, originally published in France, but translated and republished in England A. D. 1772. Only a few days after I saw a copy of this very same book in the hands of Judge C. I. Walker, of Detroit, and was thus enabled, to my very great satisfaction, to verify the sketch as shown to me by Father Jaoka or Jacker (Yocca). LaHenton says: " The place which I am now in is not above half a league dis- tant from the Illinois lake. Here the Hurons and Ontawas have each of 'em (sic) a village, the one being severed from the other by a single palisade. But the Ontawas are beginning to build a fort upon a hill that stands but 1,000 or 1,200 paces off. In this place tho Jesuits have a little house or college, adjoining to a sort of chapel and enclosed with pale, which separates it from the village of the Hurons.

The Cuereur du Paris also a very small settlement."—Lallenton, vol. 1., p. 88. From that moment I entertained the most sanguine hope that the long lost grave of the good Marquette would again be found. Greatly did I regret that I could not remain a few days longer, when the exploration would be made in the presence of the excellent Bishop Mrak, and learn what would be the result. 1 saw nothing whatever in the well-known character of tho bishop, or of the worthy pastor of St. Ignace to justify even for a moment tho least suspicion of anything like "pious fraud."

Monday, Septembers, 1877. Bishop Mrak dug out the first spadeful of ground. For a time, however, the search was discouraging. "Nothing was found that would indicate the former existence of a tomb, vaulted or otherwise," and the bishop went away. After a while a small piece of birch bark came to light, followed by numerous other fragments scorched by fire. Finally a largerand well preserved piece appeared which once evidently formed part of the bottom of an Indian-wig-wap-makak- birch-bark-box or mocock. Evidently the box had been double, such as the Indians sometimes use for greater durability in interments, and had been placed on three or four wooden sills. It was also evident that the box had not been placed on the floor but sunk in the ground, and perhaps covered with a layer of mortar. But it was equally evident that this humble tomb had been disturbed, and the box broken into, and parts of it torn out, after the material had been made brittle by the action of fire. This would explain the absence of its former contents, which," says Mr. Jacker, "what else could we think—were nothing loss than Father Marquette's bones! But what had become, of them? Further search brought to light two fragments of bone—then thirty-six more—finally a small fragment, apparently of the skull—then similar fragments of the ribs, the hand and the thigh bone. From these circumstances then we deduce the following conclusions:

1. That of M. Pommier, the French snrgeon, that these fragments of bones are undoubtedly human, and bear the marks of fire.

2. That everything goes to show "the haste of profane robbery."

3. That this robbery was by Indian medicine men, who ooveted his bones, according to their belief, as a powerful medicine.

4. That it must have taken place within a few years after the departure of the Jesuits, otherwise when the mission was renewed (about 1709), the remains would most certainly have been transferred to the new church in old Mackinac.

5. That Charlevoix, at his sojourn there in 1721, could hardly have failed to be taken to see the new tomb, and to mention the fact of its transfer in his journal, or history.

6. That if we have failed to find all the remains of the great explorer, we have at least found some, and ascertained the fact of his having been interred on that particular spot.

7. That the records answer all the circumstances of the discovery, and that the finding of these fow fragments, if not as satisfactory to our wishes, is at least aB good evidence for the fact in question its if we bad found every bono that is in the human body.

Such are the leading points in Father Jacker's elaborate narrative, as published in the Catholic World, November, 1877, in connection with the article entitled "Romance and Reality of the Death of Father James Marquette, and the recent discovery of his remains," by John G. Shea, for which papers I am indebted to the kind courtesy of Mr. Daniel E. Hudson, C. S. Notre Dame, Indiana, to whom I return most cordial thanks.

While in some respects the results are not quite so satisfactory as might have been desired, yet the determination of the site of the old house of the Jesuits, the discovery of the tomb, the recovery in part of the mocock coffin, and above all, the fiuding of some of the hones of Marquette, are all of intense interest to every lover of early Michigan history.

Marquette, the great explorer—the oldest founder of Michigan, whose grave was found within her borders, and to whom belongs immortal honor, being the discoverer of the upper Mississippi and first navigator of the great river. The scattering of his bones, J am well persuaded, is only a symbol of the tcider extension of his fame. Already his name is attached to a railroad, a river, a city, a diocese in Michigan; but that is not enough. Some forty years ago it was foretold by Bancroft" that the people of the West will build his monument," and now the time has fully come when that prophecy will be fulfilled. Lest you might think that I say this merely out of state pride, or as a lover of antiquarian history, I will only add in conclusion that I say it out of a much higher motive, and with reference to a much higher object. In reading the life of Francis Xavier when a boy, I learned that there were some lessons for Christian laborers from the lives of the early Jesuits, that neither I nor any other man could afford to overlook. Granting that too often they sought to help what they deemed a righteous cause by what they knew to be unrighteous means, and so teach us what we should avoid, there are other lessons that we would do well to imitate. The spirit of union, which was to them ao.great a source of power, the cheerfulness with which they suffered for the cause that they had espoused; the unlooked-for combinations of character in the same individuals, and above all the magnetism of personal importance and power by having a definite aim—such for example as we find in the good Marquette—belonging to any one church or order of that church, but to man as man, and to the world at large! There is only one regret that I should have in the erecting of such a monument, and that is lest it should be built by our Catholic friends alone. Will they not permit us all to join—Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, and the whole Northwest —and do honor to the great explorer in a monument of natural rock, (like Monumental Rock, Isle Royale), the materials for which in that immediate vicinity have been bo long waiting, apparently, for just such a noble purpose?

The next settlement in point of time was made in 1679, by Robert Cavalier de LaSalle, at the mouth of the St. Joseph river. He had constructed a vessel, the "Griffin," just above Niagara Falls, and sailed around by the lakes to Green Bay, Wis., whence he traversed" Lao des Illinois," now Lake Michigan, by canoe to the mouth of the St. Joseph river. The "Griffin" was the first sailing vessel that ever came west of Niagara Falls. LaSalle erected a fort at the month of the St. Joseph river, which afterward was moved about 60 miles up the river, where it was still seen in Charlevoix's time, 1721. La Salle also built a fort on the Illinois river, just below Peoria, and explored the region of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers. The next, and third, Michigan post erected by authority was a second fort on the St. Joseph river, established by Du Suth, near the present Fort Gratiot, in 1686. The object of this was to intercept emissaries of tho English, who were anxious to open traffic with the Mackinaw and Lake Superior nations. The French posts in Michigan on westward, left very little to be gathered by the New York traders, and they determined, as there was peace between France and England, to push forward their agencies and endeavor to deal with the western and northern Indians in their own country. The French governors not only plainly asserted the title of France, but as plainly threatened to use all requisite force to expel intruders. Anticipating correctly that the English would attempt to reach Lake Huron from the East without passing up Detroit river, Da Luth built a fort at the outlet of the lako into the St. Clair. About the same time an expedition was planned against the Senecas, and the Chevalier Tonti, commanding La Salle's forts, of St. Louis and St. Joseph of Lake Michigan, and La Durantaye, the veteran commander of Mackinaw, were employed to bring down the French and Indian auxiliaries to take part in the war. These men intercepted English expeditions into the interior to establish trade with tlie Northern Indians, and succeeded in cutting them off for many years. Religious zeal for the Catholic Church and the national aggrandizement wore almost or quite equally the primary and all-ruling motive of western explorations. For these two purposes expeditions were sent out and missionaries and military posts were established. In these enterprises Marquette, Joliet, La Salle, St. Lusson and others did all that we find credited to them in history.

In 1669 or 1670, Talon, then "Intendant of New France," sent out two parties to discover a passage to the South Sea, St. Lusson to Hudson's Bay and La Salle southwest ward. On his return in 1671, St. Lusson held a council of all the northern tribes at the Sault Ste. Marie, where they formed an alliance with the French. "It is a curious fact," says Campbell," that the public documents are usually made to exhibit tho local authorities as originating everything, when the facts brought to light from other sources show that they were compelled to permit what they ostensibly directed." The expeditions sent out by Talon were at least suggested from France. The local authorities were sometimes made to do things which were not, in their judgment, the wisest.


July 19, 1701, the Iroquois conveyed to King William III, all their claims to land, describing their territory as " that vast tract of land or colony called Canagariarchio, beginning on the northwest side of Cadarachqui (Ontario) Lake, and includes all that vast tract of land lying between the great lake of Ottawawa (Huron), and the lake called by the natives Sahiquage, and by the Christians the Lake of Sweege (Oswego, for Lake Erie), and runs till it butts upon the Twich-twichs, and is bounded on the westward by the Twichtwichs, on the eastward by a place called Quadoge, containing in length about 800 miles, and breadth 400 miles, including the country where beavers and all sorts of wild game keep, and the place called Tjeughsaghrondic alias Fort De Tret or Wawyachtenock (Detroit); and so runs round the lake of Sweege till you come to a place called Oniadarundaquat," etc.

It was chiefly to prevent any further mischief, and to secure more effectually the French supremacy that La Motte Cadillac, who had great influence over the savages, succeeded, in 1701, after various plans urged by him had been shelved by hostile colonial intrigues, in gettiug permission from Count Pontchartraine to begin a settlement in Detroit. His purpose was from the beginning to make not only a military post, but also a civil establishment for trade and agriculture. He was more or less threatened and opposed by the monopolists and by the Mackinaw missionaries, and was subjected to severe persecutions. He finally triumphed and obtained valuable privileges and the right of seigneury. Craftsmen of all kinds were induced to settle in the town, and trade flourished. He succeeded in getting the Hurons and many of the Ottawas to leave Mackinaw and settle about "Fort Pontchartraine." This fort stood on what was formerly called the first terrace, being on the ground lying between Lamed street and tho river, and between Griswold and Wayne streets. Cadillac's success was so great, in spite of all opposition, that he was appointed governor of the new province of Louisiana, which had been granted to Crozat and his associates. This appointment removed him from Detroit, and immediately afterward the place was exposed to an Indian siege, instigated by English emissaries, and conducted by the Mascoutins and Ontagamies, the same people who made the last war on the whites in the territory of Michigan under Black Hawk a century and a quarter later. The tribes allied to tho French came in with alacrity and de- feated and almost annihilated the assailants, of whom a thousand were put to death.

Unfortunately for the country, the commanders who succeeded Cadillac for man}'years were narrow-minded and selfish and not disposed to advance any interests beyond the lucrative traflic with the Indians in peltries. It was not until 1734 that any new grants were made to farmers. This was done by Governor- General Beauharnois, who made the grants on the very easiest terms. Skilled artisans became numerous in Detroit, and prosperity set in all around. The buildings were not of the rudest kind, but built of oak or cedar, and of smooth finish. The cedar was brought from a great distance. Before 1742 the pineries were known, and at a very early day a saw-mill was erected on the St. Clair River, near I,ake Huron. Before 1749 quarries were worked, especially at Stony Island. In 1763 there were several lime kilns within tho present limits of Detroit, and not only stone foundations hut also stone buildings, existed in the settlement. Several grist-mills existed along the river near Detroit. Agriculture was carried on profitably, and supplies were exported quite early, consisting ohiefly of corn and wheat, and possibly beans and peas. Cattle, horses and swine were raised in considerable numbers; but as salt was very expensive, but little meat, if any, was packed for exportation. The salt springs near Lake St Clair, it is true, were known, and utilized to some extent, but not to an appreciable extent. Gardening and fruit-raising were carried on more thoroughly than general farming. Apples and pears wore good and abundant.

During the French and English war Detroit was the principal source of supplies to the French troops west of Lake Ontario, and it also furnished a large number of fighting men. The upper posts were not much involved in this war. "Teuchsa Grondie," one of the many ways of spelling an old Indian name of Detroit, is rendered famous by a large and splendid poem of Levi Bishop, Esq., of that city. During the whole of the eighteenth century the history of Michigan was little else than the history of Detroit, as the genius of French Government was to centralize power instead of building up localities for self-government.

About 1704, or three years after the founding of Detroit, this place was attacked by tho Ottawa Indians, but unsuccessfully ; and again, in 1712, the Ottagamies, or Fox Indians, who were in secret alliance with the old enemies of the French, the Iroquois, attacked the village and laid siege to it. They were severely repulsed, and their chief offered a capitulation which was refused. Considering this an insult they became enraged and endeavored to burn up the town. Their method of firing the place was to shoot large arrows, mounted with combustible material in flame, in a track through the sky rainlow-form. The bows and arrows being very large and stout, the Indians lay with their backs on the ground, put both feet against the central portion of the inner side of the bow and pulled the strings with all the might of their hands. A ball of blazing material would thus be sent arching over nearly a quarter of a mile, which would come down perpendicularly upon the dry shingle roofs of the houses and set them on fire. But this schemo was soon cheek-mated by the French, who covered the remaining houses with wet skins. The Foxes were considerably disappointed at this and discouraged, but they made one more desperate attempt, failed, and retreated toward Lake St. Clair, where they again entrenched themselves. From this place however, they were soon dislodged. After this period these Indians occupied Wisconsin for a tiino and made it dangerous for travelers passing through from the lakes to the Mississippi. They wore the Ishmaelites of the wilderness.

In 1749, there was a fresh accession of immigrants to all the points upon the lakes, but the history of this part of the world during the most of this century, is rather monotonous, business and government remaining about the same, without much improvement. The records nearly all concern Canada east of the lake region. It is true, there was almost a constant change of commandants at the posts, and there were many slight changes of administrative policy, but as no great enterprises were successfully put in operation the events of the period have but little prominence.

The Northwestern Territory during French rule, was simply a vast ranging ground for the numerous Indian tribes, who had no ambition higher than obtaining immediate subsistence of the crudest kind, buying arms, whisky, tobacco, blankets and jewelry by bartering for them the peltries of the chase. Like a drop in the ocean was the missionary work of the few Jesuits at the half dozen posts on the great waters. The forests were full of otter, beaver, bear, deer, grouse, quails, etc., and on the few prairies the grouse, or "prairie chickens," were abundant Not much work was required to obtain a bare subsistence, and human nature generally, is not disposed to lay up much for the future. The present material prosperity of America is really an exception to the general law of the world. In the latter part of 1796, Winthrop Sargent went to Detroit and organized the county of Wayne, forming a part of the Indiana Territory until its division, 1805, when the Territory of Michigan was organized.

-- More to come