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This is the first detailed map of part of Michigan Territory. By 1825 federal land surveyors had surveyed much of southeast Michigan. Two map makers woke up to the fact that the Erie Canal was going to bring many settlers to Michigan and these settlers would need information about the surveyed parts of the Territory. Competing maps were made by Orange Risdon and John Farmer, of which Risdon’s is the older and was drawn at a much larger scale.
The population of the entire Michigan Territory at the time was somewhere between 17,000 and 40,000 people, of which about 7,900 were Native Americans and the balance European-descended settlers.
In the map detail of Detroit we can see the clash of land division systems: Old French long lots meet up with Judge Woodward’s Ten Thousand Acre Tract and are filled in all around with the U.S. Public Land Survey System. To the southeast we can see part of Ontario, Canada, where Windsor was still called “Sandwich.” Significant sites of the War of 1812 are noted on the Windsor-Essex Peninsula.
The map also shows numerous Native American reservations. The map detail below showing the Saginaw area shows three 640 acre (1-square mile) reservations granted to three people in the U.S. treaty with the Chippewa Nation in 1819.
This map is not on public display (as it doesn't fit inside the exhibit case) but is available for viewing upon request in the MSU Map Library.
1838 Gazetteer of the State of Michigan in Three Parts. (1838). Written by John T. Blois. Published in Detroit by Sydney L Rood & Co. Reprinted in Knightstown, Indiana by The Bookmark in 1979.
Articles of a Treaty Made and Concluded at Saginaw, in the Territory of Michigan, Between the United States of America, by the Commissioner, Lewis Cass, and the Chippewa Nation of Indians. Sept. 24, 1819, Proclamation, March 25, 1820. 7 Stat. 203.
Compendium of History and Biography of the City of Detroit and Wayne County, Michigan. (1909). Written by Clarence M. Burton. Published in Chicago by H. Taylor & Co.
Bibliography of the printed maps of Michigan, 1804-1880, with a series of over one hundred reproductions of maps constituting an historical atlas of the Great lakes and Michigan. (1931). Written by Louis Charles Karpinski and William Lee Jenks. Published in Lansing, Michigan by the Michigan Historical Commission.
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