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William G Butler Map of Area,Drawn Around 1831 or 1832
(Below) A recently discovered map drawn of the landaround Saugatuck in 1831 or 1832. The notes are in the hand of William G.Butler, the first settler who arrived in 1830. It is unclear who the letter waswritten to, or when. Below is a somewhat speculative transliteration of thewords. The meaning is often unclear because of lack of punctuation. Butlerwrites that there was an old Indian village at the site.
Fraction near mouth first bend 40 701100 about 6acres, good situation for warehouses, no place for a Village till you git tosmall Lake. fractions 40 Acre lot marked I got by my preemption, beautifulsituation upper fraction, old Indian village site, both fractions have beencleared by the Indians now some part lower & back grown up to bushes. Iintend to clear it this season if ever a village heare it must be whare I livedot in upper fraction my Cabbin. fractions in Section 15 marked 35 & 30 Igot of St. Pier a Frenchman. I purchased his premption immediately aftergranted furnished money to entre paid expenses &c lower fraction thin soilpine oak, Ash &c few Mich. Walnut. dot his Wigwam and Store house. upperfraction 30 acres bottom 8 A. cleared good soil & Peach orchard smal risehands our table land good Sugar orchard. rich soil good landings at both. &Springs at upper. this will give you a little Idea of situation. the threepoints I have purchased are the valuable points.
Map shown as surveyed byMajor Calvin Britain.
Calvin Britain (1800-January18, 1862) was a politician from the U. S. state of Michigan. Britain was bornin Jefferson County, New York and came to Michigan in 1827 and was the firstsettler in the town of St. Joseph. He laid out the village of St. Joseph, firstknown as Newberry. He acquired land in 1827 and 1829, which was surveyed by thegovernment in 1830. He was also briefly connected with the Carey mission. As aDemocrat, Britain was a member of the Legislative Council of Michigan Territoryfrom 1832 to 1835, Michigan Senate from 1835 to 1837, Michigan House ofRepresentatives from 1847 to 1851, and member of the Constitutional Conventionof 1850. Due to changes to the Michigan Constitution adopted at thatconvention, he was elected to a one-year term as the eighth Lieutenant Governorof Michigan with Governor Robert McClelland. Britain never married and residedin St. Joseph until his death there in 1862. He is interred at Lakeview/CityCemetery of St. Joseph.