Williams, George
Autograph Letter Signed, Adrian, Michigan to Erastus Williams, Esperance, Schoharie County, New York, November 19, 1836

folio, 2 ½ pages, of a bi-folium, formerly folded, some light damp-staining, small hole, in last leaf, due to careless opening, affecting a few words of text, else in very good, legible condition.

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Williams a recent emigrant to Michigan from New York writes concerning land and the land boom in Michigan:

       Mr. Erastus Williams, president of the coldwater society, Esperance,

        Sir,

            … I must inform you that Mr. Anderson has not succeeded in entering our land as yet. The Kalamazoo office did not open until the 10th inst I got information that it was to open on the 8th Mr. Anderson had been absent to Grand River several weeks and I knew not what the prospect was … The office was to open at 10 o’clock a.m. and at 4 a.m. the people began to collect at the land office and by day light it was judged there were 300 people at the office – they kept collecting at the appointed hour when it was judged there were over 500 people there – at 10 three windows were opened – “and such a getting to the house you never did see” it was kept open one minute and they received a two bushel basket full of applications. Mr. Anderson was fifteen minutes too late in getting to the office – he had been to the woods viewing land and by some means mistook his way which detained him one night longer he arrived at Ionia the day before, mounted his poney and rode him 40 miles over the bad roads without feeding the next morning he rode 30 miles by 10 o’clock but his watch being 20 minutes too slow was what deceived him… Mr Anderson has done all that lay in his power to enter the land I think – But no one can conceive the difficulties there are attending it unless they are present.  When they had all got there the Receiver gave out word that he should receive no money but specie and Bills on the Michigan Bank and the Farmers & Mechanicks Bank Detroit & Bills of the New York City and Philadelphia Banks of 20 dollars and upwards – as they had all been informed that they would receive Safety Fund Bills very few were prepared for it And most of them had to submit to a shave of from 5 to 8 per cent. I wish you to inform Mr. Deuel that Mr. Anderson has made a discovery of a tract of land which he thinks in point of utility is equal to that which he was to select for us the timber is nearly the same and the location far superior. It is I believe in Range 13 west Township six north – which you will see by looking at Farmer’s Map of Michigan is within from one to five miles of Grand River it is below the rapids where the river is navigable for steamboats and other large craft, it is about 10 miles in a direct line from the rapids which will probably be the greatest place in Michigan and there is a fine village going ahead within 3 or 4 miles of the tract, its name is Granville. The situation of the tract is considered by all that I have heard speak of it to be far superior to anything there is going at present. … What the reason is that it has not been taken before is strange but the drift has been to the interior. The climate is thought by all that have visited those parts to be equally as good as it is here – some think it is less subject to frost, although there were reports to the contrary at the commencement of its settlement. There has been a great many from here to G River after land and all agree in saying that it is the most beautiful part of the territory… the land is all good in that vicinity I am informed. The land office will not open again before the 1st of Jan Anderson will be down in 3 or 4 weeks and I shall probably know about it… It is almost impossible to conceive how fast government lands are selling I think the opening of the navigation in the spring will close the concern in Michigan any decent land will then be worth 5 dollars per acre without doubt…”