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trast strangely with the sombre beginnings of civilized life in the American colonies, and the intrepid colonists' struggles for safe independence of thought and action in religious affairs and their sacrifices to maintain it, present a picture unrivalled in the history of the world.
If Ventadour's connection with the history of New France meant nothing else but the fact that he was responsible for the entrance of the Jesuits, he would be illustrious; without them the chronicles of the new world would lose many of their most astonishing chapters. Here were examples of true martyrdom, stories of which we today cannot read without the deepest admiration and emotion.
The writing of history differs radically from all other literary occupations, involving, as it does, the labor of research in quest of necessary data, and in the verification of records and statements, which, though they may possibly occupy but little space on the printed page, must, to possess value, be correct. History indeed depends, for its value preeminently upon its accuracy; alleged facts, hastily collected, carelessly or indifferently thrown together without confirmation are obviously of no real value to the seeker after information, but pernicious and misleading. Realizing the truth of this, the author has endeavored to avoid misconceptions and errors by carefully scrutinizing everything that enters into this history, and confirming, so far as possible, all statements of facts and chronicles of important events.
Legendary lore and tradition, in which our state richly abounds, receives a liberal share of attention, and in such form as will, it is hoped, prove attractive and interesting, and of assistance in reaching a proper understanding of the characteristics and environments of both the savage and the white man.
Any history of a community or of its people would lack one of its most interesting and attractive features which omits personal characteristics and individualism. Reminiscences of every community reveal facts, impressions and experiences of intense human interest, which should add greatly to the value and enlivening detail of a history of the people and times of which it treats. For this feature of these annals of Monroe county the author has been most fortunate in discovering a fund of material, which it is hoped will contribute a measure of readableness and pleasure to the story of the early days, as well as affording an insight into the business and social customs of our ancestors, as a component part of the history of the time in which they lived and flourished. Following this plan, and in order to make the work a well balanced one, the author has invited historical facts, sketches, narratives, personal reminiscences, photographs, views and portraits from his fellow citizens which, with personal interviews, form entertaining chapters of the work.
He wishes in this connection to make grateful acknowledgment, for courtesies and valuable information, as well as for personal sketches, letters and manuscript from a large number of personal friends who have exhibited a most cordial and gratifying interest in the preparation of this work. References have been made to all available collections and historical writings bearing upon this history.
He mentions with great pleasure the facilities afforded by the magnificent library of Americana owned by Hon. Clarence M. Burton, of
Detroit, probably one of the most extensive and rare historical collections of American and French manuscripts and printed volumes in this country; the manuscripts and published writings of Gen. Lewis Cass, than whom none was more familiar with the early history of Michigan, or took more intelligent action as a leader and participator in the development of its immense resources; the histories of the experiences of early missionaries, gained from the Jesuit Relations, church records, histories and various other sources, of most thrilling interest; the published writings of Henry R. Schoolcraft, who passed many years among the Indians, studying their customs and habits, their mythology and their failings, an undoubted and accepted authority in all such matters; the journals and diaries of Charlevoix, of Champlain, LaSalle, etc.; Francis Parkman's voluminous works; “The Northwest Under Three Flags,” by Mr. Charles Moore; “The War of 1812,” by Major James Richardson, of the British Army in America; papers and documents of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society; the Canadian Archives at Ottawa; Emory Wendell's “History of Banking, Banks, and Bankers of Michigan;" Judge J. V. Campbell's “Outline of Political IIistory of Michigan” and Farmer's “History of Michigan.'
To the courtesy of Hon. Fred 'k C. Martindale, secretary of state; Charles Lanman, a famous historian; Mr. Herbert Bowen, attorney of Detroit; and to Mr. Charles R. Wing, associate editor with his father, T. E. Wing, of an earlier history of Monroe county, for courtesies in the consultation of important war records; to the newspaper press of Monroe; to Mr. Geo. B. Diffenbaugh, for Masonic memoranda; to Prof. R. C. Allen, director of the Michigan Geological and Biological Survey; to all these and many more, acknowledgments are made for interesting and valuable assistance.
JOHN M. BULKLEY.