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On May 24, 1825, surveyors began laying out a military road from Detroit to Chicago. The crude road followed the path of the Old Sauk Trail (approximately present-day U.S.12), and upon its completion, two stagecoaches a week operated between Detroit and Fort Dearborn (Chicago).
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For more information, see U.S. Route 12 in Michigan
Michigan Gov. Lewis Cass and geologist Henry Schoolcraft were among those who participated in the first major American expedition to explore the Upper Peninsula, which began on May 24, 1820.
People in the eastern part of the continent weren't interested in moving to Michigan, because they'd heard reports of an unhealthy climate and poor soil quality. Cass wanted to make sure Michigan turned its reputation around, so he'd asked the federal government for permission to survey the area's natural resources and relations with American Indians.
Also in the group, which traveled in three canoes, were 10 soldiers, two interpreters, a doctor, nine American Indians, a reporter, a geographer and a private secretary, according to Willis Dunbar's book "Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State".
Stops included Mackinac Island, where another 23 soldiers joined them; Sault Ste. Marie, where Cass angrily tore down a British flag flying over an Indian camp where a chief in a British redcoat uniform was in charge; what is today known as the Pictured Rock National Lakeshore, and the Ontonagon River.
Part of the group made it to Wisconsin, while the rest went to Ft. Dearborn, which is where modern-day Chicago is. Another split had one contingent, including Schoolcraft, returning to Detroit via lakes Michigan and Huron, and the other, including Cass, riding horses along the Old Sauk Trail in southern Michigan to Detroit.
Cass' plan to get Michigan good public relations worked, plus it was on this trip that Schoolcraft's lifelong fascination with American Indians began. He became a leading ethnologist.
Source : Zlati Meyer, "Cass, Schoolcraft in 1st major U.S. expedition to U.P.", Detroit Free Press, May 23, 2015.
Henry Howland Crapo (pronounced Cray-poe; May 24, 1804 - July 23, 1869) was the 14th Governor of Michigan during the end of the American Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction.
In 1858 Crapo left Massachusetts and moved to Flint, Michigan, primarily due to investments in pinelands, and became Flint's mayor in 1860. His family established a lucrative lumbering business in the area, which by the beginning of the Civil War was one of the largest individually owned lumber firms in the state. He was instrumental in the construction of the Flint and Holly Railroad, and was President of that corporation until its consolidation with the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad.
Crapo purchased about 1,000 acres of swampland called "Gaines' Dead Marsh" or "Dead Man's Swamp" in 1860. This swamp, the source of the west branch of the Swartz Creek and its name, was drained. An effective settlement was established there with the Crapo Farm with most structures outside of the current boundaries of the City of Swartz Creek. Crapo Farm even had its own rail depot.
In 1862, he was elected to the Michigan Senate to represent Genesee County, and ranked with the leading men of Michigan in the Civil War Senate.
In 1864, he was nominated on the Republican ticket for Governor of Michigan and was elected by a large majority. He was re-elected in 1866, holding the office two terms and retiring in January 1869. His administration was very efficient and marked particularly by his vetoing railway aid legislation and his firm refusal to pardon convicts, except upon overwhelming proofs of their innocence or excessive sentence. Crapo held office at the Farm's Mansion, Grassmoor.
Sources : Henry H. Crapo wikipedia entry.
The Henry Howland Crapo Family Papers are available at the Genesee Historical Collections Center, Frances Wilson Thompson Library, University of Michigan-Flint.
In an effort to attract settlers to Detroit, the governor general of New France (Canada) offered each man who would settle there a spade, an axe, a cow, a sow, a ploughshare, one large and one small wagon and seed. Over the course of two years, more than one hundred persons accepted the offer.
Source : Michigan History
Governor John Engler signed a bill on this day making the Historical Society of Michigan the state's official historical society.
The Historical Society of Michigan (HSM) is the state’s oldest cultural organization, founded in 1828 by territorial governor Lewis Cass and explorer Henry Schoolcraft. The Society helps to connect Michigan’s past to students, educators, historical organizations and the public through educational programs, conferences, publications, awards, workshops, referral services, networking opportunities, and support for local history organizations.
HSM is an educational non-profit organization. It is not collection based and receives no funding from state government.
Source : Michigan History, May/June 2012
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