Tag: Great Lakes

Quote of the Day: We Were Becoming Like Them … All Talkers and No Workers


For my first QotD, I’m going to post a long one. This is Sauk warrior Black Hawk’s surrender speech, given in 1832 after the last of his warriors were defeated at the Bad Axe River in what is now Wisconsin. This defeat marked the end of the Black Hawk War that had been fought across the Illinois territory, and largely ended effective armed Indian resistance in the Great Lakes. He is memorialized in numerous ways in Illinois and Wisconsin, in brands, plaques, statues and place names, even lending his name and likeness to a somewhat famous Chicago hockey team.

I haven’t found a satisfactory resource online about the War, but I will mention briefly that it was fought (as one might guess) over government resettlement plans. Black Hawk did not acknowledge the authority of the Sauk negotiators to sell off a swath of land to the United States in the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis, and took his supporters on the warpath in 1832. He surrendered at Prairie du Chien in August of that year.

Clear Waters of Lake Michigan Reveal Its Many Shipwrecks


This 133-foot long wooden steamer, the Rising Sun, is in 6 to 12 feet of water just north of Pyramid Point, where she stranded on October 29, 1917. All 32 people on board were saved. (U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Traverse City )

The ice over Lake Michigan has finally melted, but the water is still very cold. That, along with the good weather conditions, has left the water extremely clear. So clear in fact, that turn-of-the-century shipwrecks are visible from the air:

Book Review: Warships of the Great Lakes


American History textbooks rarely spend much time on the Great Lakes; their importance as the barrier between the original thirteen colonies and French Canada — and later the barrier between the United States and British Canada — is seldom mentioned, nor is their roll in the calculations of power and trade in the early American interior given its just due.  If the lakes are even mentioned, it is only to note that Commodore Perry won a famous battle and secured the lakes for us in the War of 1812.  Theyrarely discuss is just why securing the lakes was vital, which is exactly what Warships of the Great Lakes: 1754 – 1834 by Robert Malcomson does so well.

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.23.17 AMThere were only three main arteries into the American interior in colonial times: up the Mississippi River, up the Saint Lawrence River, or overland through the Appalachians.  The latter option was treacherous for lack of roads, while the other two were under French control.  The Saint Lawrence drains Lake Ontario and the other lakes beyond, but also drains — by way of navigable feeder rivers — Lake Champlain which, in turn, gives access to the interior of upstate New York and New England.  The Great Lakes, however, allow access to the entire interior of North America as far as the Mississippi.

Member Post


This vacation was a near thing, it very nearly did not happen, and it ended far too soon under the cloud of family tragedy. Daughter 1 had a planned visit to Great Grandma for several weeks, Daughter 2 had dance tryouts in June, choreography boot camp in July, and practices starting in early August. Throw […]

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