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History of the Discovery of the Northwest by John Nicolet in 1634 With a Sketch of his Life   By: (1824-1899)

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The book detailing the extensive work of John Nicolet in his History of the Discovery of the Northwest, accompanied by a comprehensive account of his life by Consul Willshire Butterfield, proves to be an essential resource for anyone fascinated by the exploration and settlement of America. This captivating narrative takes readers back to the early 17th century, shedding light on the remarkable journey of a daring adventurer whose contributions to American history have largely gone unnoticed.

Nicolet's tale begins with his humble beginnings and gradual rise in prominence, ultimately leading to his invaluable role in exploring uncharted territories in the Northwest. Through meticulous research and compelling storytelling, Butterfield paints a vivid picture of Nicolet's perseverance and unwavering spirit, making each chapter of his life an engaging and enthralling read.

What sets this book apart from others is the meticulous attention to detail demonstrated by both the author and the historical figures themselves. Butterfield, a skilled historian, masterfully intertwines Nicolet's personal anecdotes with a wider historical context, providing readers with a complete understanding of the time period. The seamless combination of primary sources, journals, and letters further enhances the credibility and depth of the narrative.

In tracing Nicolet's footsteps on his numerous expeditions, the book navigates through unfamiliar terrains alongside the explorer, revealing the hardships and triumphs experienced along the way. From encounters with indigenous tribes to the challenges of survival amidst the harsh wilderness, every moment is gripping and heart-wrenching, reminding readers of the courage and determination that drove early explorers like Nicolet.

As the reader delves deeper into the book, it becomes evident that Nicolet's discoveries were not just geographical but also cultural. The interactions between European settlers and Native American tribes are explored with sensitivity and nuance. Butterfield's commitment to presenting a balanced perspective ensures that both sides of the equation are acknowledged, enabling readers to gain a thorough understanding of the complex dynamics that shaped the history of the Northwest.

It is worth noting that the inclusion of period sketches and maps throughout the book further enriches the reading experience. These visual aids give readers a better grasp of the landscapes traversed by Nicolet, his encounters, and the overall geographical context. The detailed images contribute to the overall authenticity of the narrative, making it easier to immerse oneself in the explorer's world.

While this book adeptly sheds light on the life and achievements of John Nicolet, it occasionally becomes dense with historical details, potentially overwhelming casual readers. However, for those with a genuine interest in American history and exploration, this book is an invaluable addition to their collection.

In conclusion, History of the Discovery of the Northwest by John Nicolet in 1634 With a Sketch of his Life by Consul Willshire Butterfield is an exceptional work of historical research and storytelling. Butterfield's meticulous weaving of Nicolet's personal journey within the broader historical context, along with striking visuals, captures the attention and imagination of readers. It solidifies John Nicolet's significance in the discovery and settlement of the Northwest and ensures his story receives the recognition it deserves.

First Page:






IN 1634





Author of "Crawford's Campaign against Sandusky," "History of Wisconsin" In Historical Atlas of the State, "The Washington Crawford Letters," "History of the University of Wisconsin," etc.




In the following pages, I have attempted to record, in a faithful manner, the indomitable perseverance and heroic bravery displayed by John Nicolet in an exploration which resulted in his being the first of civilized men to set foot upon any portion of the Northwest; that is, upon any part of the territory now constituting the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin. It is shown how he brought to the knowledge of the world the existence of a "fresh water sea" Lake Michigan beyond and to the westward of Lake Huron; how he visited a number of Indian nations before unheard of; how he penetrated many leagues beyond the utmost verge of previous discoveries, with an almost reckless fortitude, to bind distant tribes to French interests; and how he sought to find an ocean, which, it was believed, was not a great distance westward of the St... Continue reading book >>

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