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Early Settlement Of The County

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The following is one of the papers read at the meeting oí the Washtenaw County Pioneer Society, at Saline, Monday, Aug. 2d, by W. H. Berdan : When we contémplate the immensity of the universe, and the power which directa and governs the incomprehensible whole, of which the utmost kim ot human sight can discover but au atom, as ït were, in coinparison, we are lost and amazed ut the thought of the progresa and improvemeut of our country. I do not know the precise date when the first blow was stiuck by a wliite man in the county of Washtenaw, but it is uot far from half a century ago Before that time, it was iuhabited by red men aud wild beasts, which had roamed liere unmolested from time immemorial. I will now come down to the time when l flrst arrived m this State and county, it was in 1833. As 1 did not settle in this couuty, I am not as familiar with the inciden is of early years aa those who did. But at that tune Ypsïlauti aud Ann Arbor were quite inferior little hamlets. ün my arrival at Saline, I found a taveru where Mr. Daveuport's residence now , with a sign iu front, and kept by Mr Rison ; on the opposite side of the street was a mail store, where goods were sold by Mr. i'inch, said to be the same building which Mr. [cKinnon now occupies ; and a few other mildings which I canuot recollect. I say it is mazing to see the progress aud nnprovement nee that time. Wheu I carne through Buffalo at that time, ïere was a railroad from that place to Black ;ock, a distance ot four miles, run by horselower ; this waa the ouly railroad west of New York. Alter clearing away the forest, and raismg a ew acres of crops, we gathered our hay by mowing it with a scythe, and rakiug it up with hand-rake, and our wheat W9 cut with a radie, &c. But now there is hardly a town in the couny but what has a railroad and telegraph line ; tte farmer rides on a comfortable seat and makes his horses cut the hay and grain, and lso rides his hay rake and cultivator ; and besides that the horses draw the hay up iuto the mows. Aud then look at the massive bnek blocks for stores, the dwelliugs, the churches, aud last but not least the school houses. Washtenaw is celebrated for its schools, its equal is not in this State, and porhaps not surpassed by any State in the Union. I have heard it remarked by strangers, that Saline has the finest school buildiug, for the size of the town, they ever saw. We caunot estímate our schools too highly, they are invaluable ; they improve our race mentally, as our inventors improve mechanically; they dispel superstition by fllling the mind with knowledge. Look back at a penod not much over two centuries ago, when people were executed, all over Europe, for being witches ; and even here in America, nineteen were nung ior iue uniuo ui uumg uwuw ; know the bible says Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." But yet education has taught people not to kill each other ior witches. We read of a people who undertook to build a Tower up to Heaven, that they might climb up there, but they were defeated. I haü the day when a proper and suflicient education will dispel all auperstition, that all may know the truth, from the smallest to the greatest. As I before remarked, I did uot settle in this couuty but pased through here on my way to Mooreville, where I found 'Squire Moore, who showed me my farm, four miles from auy place. Iii this secluded place I remained a pioneer until I cut myselt out, which I trust is a sufficient excuse for some enors at least. In this situation I venfieu one passage of scripture : " To get my bread by the sweat of my brow." As the Ridge upou which I lived ran through Washtenaw county I will give you a a little history of it iu the shape of a carol. l AKK RIDiE CAROL. In eighteen hundred thirty-iwo, Lake Ridge was in the shade Of a dense fórest overgrown,the road was then not laid, An Indian-trail was visible which they had tread In file, In traversing from tribe to tribe for man y a weary milt;. The Rugar-niaples show the scars of the awkward Indian's ax, Where they had hacked the lofty trees, to get the BVWt extract, Their elm-bark troughs were yet in camp together neatly pat-kt'd, Together with their basswood spilcs, which they had nidely hacked. The beun and wolves did freely roam, no oue did them molest, And through the winter's ehilling stornis lie quiet in their nest, The niinble deer did skip about, on Lake Ridge long ago, And turkeys were abundan t here, which many do well know. In eighteen hundred thirty-three, Jeff. Warner did eommence, He planted eoru amoug the logs altliough he luid no fence, On Warner's corners was the place where he did first begin, Esquire Moore did Lake Ridge then explore, and others bood carne in. Berdanand Stewart came in next, and settled up the Ridge, They cut their way from stream to stream and crossed without a bridge. Then Harmon came the following year, and next came uncle Jess, Then Parmalee, and Hand, and Hobbs, of them we thought no less. And others still kept coming in quite fast from year to year, And süttlcd all along the Ridge, which gave a friendly cheer. We built our huuses of straight logs, without a knot or limb, With much precisión we did lay the corners straight and trim. This was a time when men did work, in cleaning up their land, And building fences of oak rails, which looked to them so grand, But no complaining did we hear, to live, we all did try, And with us all it was the same, it was root hog, or die. We were all well united then, just like a band of br others With oxen hitched before the lied, we visited each other, We met and bad a friendly chat, O, this we then enjuyed, With politics nor bigotry we were not then annoyed. But time has changed the place somewhat ; let's look at Lake Ridge now, It's all been cleared, and fenced up nice, and subjected to the plow, The old log houses are away, and new ones ín their place ; The bears and wolves are gone away, there is no deer to chase. Nice orchards can be seen along, on both sides of Lake Ridge, And every little crossing-stream is covered with a bridge; It's beautiful to pass along and see the golden grain, The hogs and cattle, sheep in droves, in Eastern markets slain. The boys who live upon Lake Ridge, do sometimes have their fun, They'H match their horses for a trot, and sometimes they will run. On holiday's with ladies meet, and in some nice spacious hall, With music, and all chinga complete, they'll have a social ball. In politics, upon Lake Ridge, the people are quite sound, Their loyalty was clearly shown, in putting rebels down ; Although two parties we maintaïn, the ditFerence ís ia the name, For all arelaw-abiding men, their object id the same Religión, also, on Lake Ridge, is nouiishing quite well, Although our crecdu are various, allow me, friends, to teil ; While some are Puritanical, and some another way, We thiuk a good act in a man, is better than a say. If we look back two hundred years, down to oíd Plymouth Rock, We'll sce that many pilgrims then from England there did flock; From persecution they did fiee, from England's naugnty snores, And settled in the wildernew, by handredfl, and by scores ; But when the Quaker's did arrive, these pilgrims in their turu, We're persecutora unto them, compelled tliem to return ; They perseeuted Baptist, too, with their religious gnKi They banisned tliem with holy zeal, four Quakers they did hang. This spirit on Lake KKlge exists, as we can plainly see, But, thauk the Lord, it is as yet in a minority. With Hoger Williams we take aides, and with hini we agree, That all the sects together dweil, and live in unitv. To do to others, as you wuuld, that they should do to you, Assist the needy widows, and the orphan children too; Be kind unto your neighbors, in your fainily be mild, Ia what we cali religión which is pure and undefiled. But we have Christians ou Lake Ridge, of quite another stamp: They're puritanically - inclined the liberal mind would crainp, They're on the roatl, or in the church, a screechiug every hour ; With holy horror roll their eyes, fall down and have the power. But Lake Ridge iives this privilege, that all may have their chokv, To worship as they thiuk ia best, and in their way rejoiue. And now my brother Pioneer's, don't criticise my lay, I hope Tve given no offense by what I have had to say. This is the history of Lake Ruige from quite an early day ; We feel to ruourn the loss of friends, who've froni us passed away. To the living I COUld just suggest, while I wiish you all good cheer, Go on with all your privileges, but the Pioneers reveré. The disgraceful scramble for the succession to the Senatorial chair made vacant by the death of ex-President Johnson coinmenced in Tennessee as soon as the fací of nis death wasknown. 1 Ex-Govs. Brown and Harris, and Gen. Bate arfa moBt prominently mentioued as candidatea.


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