1833 Griffiths

Griffiths wrote this book, sold by subscription only in England, to give prospective English settlers in Ohio all the information "an intelligent emigrant will require respecting the voyage, and journey up the country" and what to expect once they got to Ohio. Griffiths sailed from Liverpool in March of 1832.

At the request of a Presbyterian minister, I accompanied him to a meeting of the Synod of the Western Reserve and Michigan, which was held at Detroit. We took the Steam-boat, Enterprise, from the Mouth of the Huron River, at eight o'clock on Wednesday night, October 9th, 1833, and soon found that there were seventeen ministers on board, besides elders, "chosen men," from all parts of the Reserve, who had embarked at different ports on the Lake Shore, and were all bound to Detroit.

It was a fine star-light night when we put off from Huron, and we sat talking and singing on the upper deck until twelve o'clock. We then went down into the Cabin to steal a little sleep; for as some of us were not Cabin-passengers, we had no regular bed that night, although the next day, seeing that we were likely to be kept out more than one night, we changed our tickets for other which gave us the privileges of the Cabin, and cost us one dollar more, in all two dollars and a half, from Huron to Detroit, a distance of eighty miles.. . .

But to return. At eleven o'clock on Thursday night, we left Put-in-Bay, and reached Detroit early on Friday morning. And there we "were received of the church;" two of the members standing ready, as we landed, to take down our names as Ministers and Elders, and to assign us our places of entertainment during the Session of Synod.

Mr. B. and myself were quartered at General Larned's, where we met with a cordial reception, and were entertained the whole week with genuine hospitality. General Larned is the brother of the late Sylvester Larned of New Orleans, of whose life and character he gave us some interesting particulars. . . .

Detroit is a large thriving town, and very much frequented by Indians. The appearance of a bony Indian, six feet high at least, walking along empty handed, while his poor feeble squaw (wife) at his side, seemed ready to sink at every step under a heavy burden, confirmed the general opinion, that the man of America is an unkind husband. But he disdains the charge. He says, "The men among us suffer all the hardships of war; and in peace, we sometimes hunt from day to day without success, hungry and faint, while our women are comfortable at the lodge. The women own all the children; the lodge and the wigwam are theirs, and all the household furniture. The men own the guns, the traps, the powder and lead, the horses and canoes. The women and children own the fishing lines and hooks, the axes and hoes. We kill the bear, the deer, and the otter, the mink, and the muskrat. The women and children sometimes catch the fish, kill the birds, and raise the corn. We teach the boys hunting. The women teach the girls to cook, to make mats of rushes and various kinds of bark, to dress skins, and make them into mocasins, ornamented with porcupine quills."

The meeting of the Synod was held in the Presbyterian Church, and about forty ministers were present. As at Meetings of Presbytery, and General Assembly, an introductory session was delivered, and each particular session was opened and closed with a prayer. A moderator and clerk were then chosen after the usual manner. Statistical Reports were read, and Narratives of Religion. Bible Society, Missionary Society, Education Society, and other business was attended to from day to day. On the Sabbath the Ordinance of the Lord's Supper was publicly administered. And the whole was conducted with perfect order and good feeling.

From: TWO YEARS' RESIDENCE IN THE NEW SETTLEMENTS OF OHIO, NORTH AMERICA: WITH DIRECTIONS TO EMIGRANTS. By D. Griffiths, Jun. London: Westley and Davis, 1835: 147-152.