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The Andrews Bailiwick

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This rather crude old box is made mostly of unfinished wood, but the lock indicates that it once contained something of value or importance. I discovered the box in the attic of my family home in rural Armada, Michigan. Inside, were several hundred letters written in the 1800s. My ancestor, Elisha Deming Andrews, had saved our family’s correspondence, both personal and business. The letters tell the story of the Andrews family, beginning in New England and progressing to New York State and Michigan. Elisha bought undeveloped land in southeastern Michigan from the government and supervised the transformation from forest to farm. The Andrewses were part of a typical migration pattern for many families that pushed into newly acquired territory following the opening of the Erie Canal. These letters are a rare collection that I used as the basis of my unorthodox doctoral dissertation about the migration, Part 1, written as a letter to my family. Later, I returned to the letters to write Part 2, using more personal information. I fell in love with the Andrewses and I think you will too. —Mary True Dooley

ISBN: 978-0-9713168-6-7
Publish Date: 2007
Pages: 193
Size: 8.5 x 11 inches

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At Home in Geography - MSU Today, Winter 2007