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The founding of Fort Wayne in the late 1600s and Detroit in 1701, increased contact between whites and Native Americans-so much so that in 1775, Detroit felt it necessary to regulate the sale of liquor to Native Americans.
Many settlers feared Native Americans because they were different.
Regardless, though, contact had distinct consequences for people on both sides, and profound affects on both native and white cultures that still affect Michigan history.
How did white settlers perceive Native American culture? What cultural differences between Native Americans and whites might account for some of these perceptions?
Their ways seemed savage to whites, and they were suspicious of a culture they did not understand.
He settled all their difficulties; they brought him all their armor, tomahawks, etc., when they went on their pow-wow, and he helped them in all possible ways.I became so annoyed that I finally decided to stop it.I went over to the village, called out Si-mas, one of the head Indians; told him their pappooses were hurting my cattle, and if I found any more signs of their being shot at, I would kill a pony belonging to some of them.Taken together, this group of documents tells a complex story about early contact between Native Americans and whites.
It was often charged with tension and emotion, but also had moments of friendship, cooperation, and even intimacy.Native Americans formed perceptions of white settlers, too, but their historical records are harder to locate.