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A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress,
its People, and its Principal Interests
The early history of Monroe county is closely linked with that of Canada and the New England colonies; since it was from these two interesting localities that our hardy pioneers came, the impress of whose strong characters and personalities were so indelibly left upon the affairs and events of the community from its earliest records as to be felt to the present day.
The story of their experiences and exploits presents an example of fortitude, persevering industry, patriotism and zeal that might well be, as it has been emulated in the lives and efforts of those who have been and are still identified with the growth of all that relates to its civil and religious activities. This being the case, is it not logical and desirable that we begin with a consideration of the earliest attempts of the adventurous people who first visited these shores?
There is no more interesting or absorbing tale in the annals of mankind than that which is embodied in the story of the early French missionaries and adventurers, and later of the pioneers from New England and their explorations and settlement of the northwest ; its tragedies, its sacrifices, its incredible hardships, its memorable and desperate conflicts in the subjugation of nature, often illumined by heroic and romantic episodes, and their final domination of and triumph over apparently insurmountable obstacles and difficulties which beset and surrounded every league of their pathway.
It is impossible to think of a country founded by such men as becoming anything else than great, powerful, indomitable, so long as it adhered to the principles, the virtues, the spirit of these men. Much of the greatness of this nation is due to the ideals of its founders.
However one may yield to the fascinating records and narratives of classic lands and the myths of the Greeks and the Scandinavians, or pause in amazement at the astonishing advancements of civilization in the last half century and its marvelous achievements, he will in none of these discover events more compelling in continuity of interest, than those which are contained in the history of the three centuries, which embraces the settlement and civilization of the North American continent. The astonishing and bewildering diversity and variations of the current of the life of that period offers the richest material, not only for the historian, but as well for artist, philosopher and poet. There is not a decade that is not exciting, romantic and inspiring. The richness of the early days in New France, when feudal barons were transplanted from Europe mingling with the copper-skinned Indians and black-robed priests, con