A Message to Emigrants - 1845
By J.Almy & E.B. Bostwick
Line Divider

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 pubiic, correct information in regard to a particular portion of the State represented: The follow ing facts are stated for the benefit of those who ara about emigrating 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 Amencan lakes is unsurpassed in advantages for commerce, by any inland State in the Union.

The population increased from less than 5000 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 sandv 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 lonia. Grand River, one of the largest rivers in the State flows through the aforesaid country; discharging 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 lonia. 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 pavment at par. Thus making the lands cost about 70 cents per acre. These warrants can be purchased in the principle villages along the Rail Road.

These State locations are confidently recommended to those who design removing to the West, and for the following reaasons: 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 an 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, (too dark to try and copy or scan) 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!

Grand Haven, Grand Rapids and Ionia are at present the principal towns on Grand River. Grand Rapick 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 flourmills, Two saw mills, 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 sader, 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 Milwaukie and Chicago.

From Grand Rapids to the City of New York, there is an uninterrupted water communintion, and merchandise was shipped from New York to the mouth of Grand River at sixty-five cents per 100 lbs during the past season.

Salt is manufactured to some extent at Grand Rapid; and Plaster and Lime to an unlimited amount, and of superior quaiity.

Grand River passes over a lime stone 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 ofMichigan 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 at Detroit, for Battle Creek, and from thence by stage; 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 transpirted across the counfry.

The 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 building between it and the river.

The canal is 80 feet wide and five feet deep, making a water power of greater magnitude than any where 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.

We make these statements in relation to the State of Michigan, based upon a residence there for more than nine years.

For our ability to judge, and the measure of confidence to be placed in the foregoing statement, we respectfully refer to the following persons.

Signed - J. Almy & E B. BOSTWICK. -

Hon. CHAS T. CARROLL Livingston Co. N. Y.
W. T. CARROLL, Washington City
JOHN P. REZNOR ESQ. Ashland Ohio
Mess. ROBINSON, PRATT & CO., Buffalo N.Y.