History of Hancock County, Ohio
After surmounting many unlocked for obstacles and overcoming un expected difficulties, we are enabled to present to our patrons the History of Hancock County, which has been in course of preparation for more than a year past. A desire has long existed for a work that would faithfully present a correct, concise and clear record of events, beginning with the Mound-Builders and Indian tribes that once inhabited Ohio, thence tracing the history of this portion of the State down to the present period. That such an undertaking is attended with no little difficulty none will deny, and to procure the material for the compilation of the work, every avenue of reliable information has been diligently and carefully explored. The data have been culled, item by item, from books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspaper files and manuscripts, from State, county and private records, charters, manuals, letters and diaries, as well as from the testimony of living witnesses to many of the events related.
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In 1616, four years before the pilgrims "moored their bark on the wild New England shore," Le Caron, a French Franciscan, had penetrated through the Iroquois and Wyandots (Hurons) to the streams which run into Lake Huron; and in 1634, two Jesuit missionaries founded the first mission among the lake tribes. It was just one hundred years from the discovery of the Mississippi by DeSoto (1541) until the Canadian envoys met the savage nations of the Northwest at the Falls of St. Mary, below the outlet of Lake Superior. This visit, led to no permanent result; yet it was not until 1659 that any of the adventurous fur traders attempted to spend a Winter in the frozen wilds about the great lakes, nor was it until 1660 that a station was established upon their borders by Mesnard, who perished in the woods a few months after. In 1665, Claude Allouez built the earliest lasting habitation of the white man among the Indians of the Northwest. In 1668, Claude Dablon and James Marquette founded the mission of Sault Ste. Marie at the Falls of St. Mary, and two years afterward, Nicholas Perrot, as agent for M. Talon, Governor General of Canada, explored Lake Illinois (Michigan) as far south as the present City of Chicago, and invited the Indian nations to meet him at a gland council at Sault Ste. Marie the following Spring, where they were taken under the protection of the king, and formal possession was taken of the Northwest. This same year Marquette established a mission at Point St. Ignatius, where was founded the old town of Michillimackinac.