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The Country of the Neutrals (As Far As Comprised in the County of Elgin), From Champlain to Talbot   By: (1849-)

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THE COUNTRY OF THE NEUTRALS

(AS FAR AS COMPRISED IN THE COUNTY OF ELGIN)

FROM CHAMPLAIN TO TALBOT

BY

JAMES H. COYNE.

ST. THOMAS, ONT. TIMES PRINT. 1895.

[Illustration: This is a copy of Galinee's map of 1670, the first made from actual exploration in which Lake Erie appears. It was printed in Faillon's "Histoire de la Colonie Française," and in "The History of the Early Missions in Western Canada." The plate was very kindly placed at the service of the Elgin Historical and Scientific Institute, for use in this work by the Very Reverend Dean Harris, the author of the last mentioned book.

The following explanations refer chiefly to the western portion of the map:

Title: "Map of the country visited by Messrs. Dollier de Casson and de Galinee, missionaries of St. Sulpice, drawn by the same M. de Galinee. (See M. Talon's letter 10th November, 1670)." L. Huron: "Michigan or Fresh Water Sea of the Hurons." (These lakes were erroneously supposed to be but one). N. End: "Bay of the Pottawatamies." Islands near Mackinac: "I entered this bay only as far as these islands." W. of St. Clair River: "Great hunting ground." At Detroit: "Here was a stone, idol of the Iroquois, which we broke up and threw into the water." Essex Peninsula: "Large prairies." Lake Erie: "I mark only what I have seen." Long Point: "Peninsula of Lake Erie." North Shore Opposite: "Here we wintered." The Bay Opposite: "Little Lake Erie." Grand River: "Rapid River on Tina Toua." East Side Grand River: "Excellent land." West Side Grand River: (up the river): "The Neutral Nation was formerly here." West of Burlington Bay: "Good land." Niagara River: "This current is so strong that it can hardly be ascended." At its Mouth: "Niagara Falls said by the Indians to be more than 200 feet high." Lake Ontario: "I passed on the south side, which I give pretty accurately." North Shore: "Mr. Perot's encampment. Here the missionaries of St. Sulpice established themselves."]

THE COUNTRY OF THE NEUTRALS.

BY

JAMES R. COYNE.

In that part of the township of Southwold included in the peninsula between Talbot Creek and the most westerly bend of Kettle Creek there were until a relatively recent date several Indian earthworks, which were well known to the pioneers of the Talbot Settlement. What the tooth of time had spared for more than two centuries yielded however to the settler's plough and harrow, and but one or two of these interesting reminders of an almost forgotten race remain to gratify the curiosity of the archæologist or of the historian. Fortunately, the most important of all is still almost in its original condition. It is that, which has become known to readers of the Transactions of the Canadian Institute as the Southwold Earthwork. It is situated on the farm of Mr. Chester Henderson, Lot Number Four North on Talbot Road East. Mr. David Boyle in the Archæological Reports printed in 1891 has given the results of his examinations of the mounds. A carefully prepared plan made from actual survey by Mr. A. W. Campbell, C.E., for the Elgin Historical and Scientific Institute of St. Thomas, was presented by the latter to the Canadian Institute.[1] These will together form a valuable, and, it is hoped, a permanent record of this interesting memorial of the aboriginal inhabitants of South western Ontario.

[1] Mr. J. H. Scott, of St. Thomas, has made a number of photographs of the mounds at the instance of an American lady, who, it is understood, will reproduce them in a work about to be published by her.

The writer of this paper has been acquainted with "the old fort," as it was called, since the year 1867. At that time it was in the midst of the forest. Since then the woods have been cleared away, except within the fort and north of it. Indeed, a considerable number of trees have been felled within the southern part of the enclosure. In the mounds themselves trees are abundant, and there are many in the moat or ditch between... Continue reading book >>




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