How Michigan Became a State
How the Erie Canal Helped Michigan
Michigan's First Survey
Orlo Fenn Travels via Erie Canal
We have enjoyed good health ever since we left Shoreham, for which we ought to feel thankful, but I must proceed to give you a short history of our travils (sic) since we left Shoreham. We arrived in Whitehall the same day we left Shoreham and locked up. The next morning we left and arrived in Troy on Friday morning. Left Troy Friday evening and arrived in Buffalo on Saturday of the next week in time to ship outboard the steamboat Ohio. At 1/2 past 10 o'clock we left Buffalo for Detroit on Monday evening, which made us two weeks from home....Source: ”A Letter to Shoreham,” Vermont Quarterly, July 1955, page 329. From a letter written by Orlo H. Fenn, Dexter, Michigan Territory, to his parents, Daniel Fenn and Huldah Rowley Fenn, in Shoreham, Vermont, 1 July 1832.
Yankee Migration to Michigan
This growth became known as the "Yankee migration." What is a Yankee? Brian C. Wilson, author of Yankees in Michigan, defines it as a “distinct ethnic group...descendants of the first seventeenth-century English settlers to New England”
The Yankee migration began around Plymouth, Massachusetts and continued to other points in Massachusetts. Next, migration to Connecticut via the Connecticut Trail, then to Western Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire using the Connecticut River. Many migrated to New York and Pennsylvania and the Northwest Territory.
Yankees left in hopes of finding better land. Lands in the east were being used up and if a family had too many sons, there wasn't enough land to inherit. Once land became available in the Northwest Territory many moved. First to Ohio, then Indiana and Illinois and eventually Michigan.
There was a song about this emigration, the Emigrant's Song:
Come all ye Yankee farmers who wish to change your lot,Who’ve spunk enough to travel beyond your native spot,And leave behind the village where Pa and Ma do stay,Come follow me, and settle in Michigania-Yea, Yea, Yea, in Michigania.
Population Growth in Early Michigan
- Rhode Island-1031
- New Hampshire-2744
- New York-133756
Yankee Influence in Michigan
Yankee Migration is one in a series of posts about researching Michigan. The others are: