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Pioneer Life on the Michigan Frontier in Diaries & Memoirs

Pioneer Life on the Michigan Frontier

Pioneer life; life on the frontier in Michigan, in the words of the pioneers themselves. Diaries and memoirs by explorers, missionaries, and settlers, free online. The page links below, for some of our Michigan pages on the History of the Great Lakes States portion of this website, contain links to the free online works listed. You can also find similar pages for Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin or the entire Great Lakes region at History of the Great Lakes States Directory.

Michigan Biographies & Memoirs page

Baird, Elizabeth T., “Reminiscences of Early Days on Mackinac Island” (1898)

Cook, Darius B., Six Months among Indians, Wolves and other Wild Animals, in the Forests of Allegan County, Michigan in the Winter of 1839 and 1840 (1889)

Haviland, Laura S., A Woman’s Life-Work: Labors and Experiences of Laura S. Haviland (1882)

Jay, Charles J., My New Home in Northern Michigan and other Tales (1874)

Mevis, Daniel S., Pioneer Recollections; Semi-Historic Side Lights on the Early Days of Lansing (1911)

Nowlin, John, The Bark Covered House or, Back in the Woods Again; being a graphic and thrilling description of real pioneer life in the wilderness of Michigan (1937)

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Sagatoo, Mary, Wah Sash Kah Moqua, or, Thirty-three years among the Indians (1897)

Schoolcraft, Henry R., Personal Memoirs of a Residence of Thirty Years with the Indian tribes on the American Frontiers: with brief notices of passing events, facts, and opinions, A.D. 1812 to A.D. 1842 (1851)

Tripler, Eunice H., Some Notes of Her Personal Recollections (1910)

Ward, David, The Autobiography of David Ward (1912)

Williams, Elizabeth Whitney, A Child of the Sea; and Life among the Mormons (1905)

Williams, Ephraim S., “Personal Reminiscences” (1886-1888)

Michigan Explorers and Travelers page

Henry, Alexander, Travels and Adventures in Canada and the Indian Territories, between the years 1760 and 1776 (1809)

Lindley, Jacob; Moore, Joseph and Paxson, Oliver, “Expedition to Detroit, 1793; The Quakers, the United States Commissioners, and the Proposed Treaty of Peace with the Northwestern Indian Tribes.” (1890)

Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, Narrative Journal of Travels through the Northwestern Regions of the United States : extending from Detroit through the great chain of American lakes to the sources of the Mississippi River, performed as a member of the expedition under Governor Cass in the year 1820 (1821)

Michigan Fiction page

These books by popular author Caroline Kirkland are lightly fictionalized accounts of her pioneer life experience in Livingston County, Michigan.

Kirkland, Caroline, A New Home-Who’ll Follow? Or, Glimpses of Western Life (1841)

Kirkland, Caroline, Forest Life (1842)

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Michigan History page

Burton, Clarence, ed., “Cadillac Papers” (1903-4)

Michigan Native Americans page

Frost, Frederick (Rev), Sketches of Indian Life (1904)

Kohl, Johann Georg, Kitchi-Gami: Wanderings Round Lake Superior (1860)

Michigan Religion page

Pitezel, John H., Lights and Shades of Missionary Life (1857)

Michigan Social History page

Fitzmaurice, John W., The Shanty Boy, or Life in a Lumber Camp (1889)

Perrault, Jean Baptiste, Narrative of the Travels and Adventures of a Merchant Voyager… (1909)

Schettler, Mrs. Eliza M. Scott, Lights and Shadows from Pioneer Life (1907)

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